2020 What a Year

Year in Review

What can I say about the past year? Our current situation with COVID-19 did not impact me as much as it probably did others due to my solitary nature. I think for once being an introvert has served me well. I didn’t get to travel to my usual destinations, i.e., Florida and Walt Disney World, and travel for work was non-existent. The time at home did allow me to explore a little more with my camera. I found myself taking more walks through the trails around the city. Not only was I getting a little exercise but I learned to “see” a little better by walking the same paths every week.

I mentioned in my review post a year ago that I was working to sell the house. It ended up being a bit of an ordeal but eventually it was sold and I was free. This added freedom allowed for more me time, which you would think I was already getting plenty of this year. I guess I’m greedy. I will say, I enjoyed not having to mow the lawn and I can guarantee I will not miss shoveling snow this winter. For now, my apartment serves me well until I’m ready for the next big adventure.

I did find myself using the macro lens a lot more toward the end of the year. Generally, I would consider myself a landscape photographer, although, I dabble in a lot of different styles, but the macro lens was allowing me to express more feelings. I don’t always write up an explanation or attach words to every image post but I feel the title and the image convey my mood well. I know I’ve mentioned this before, the title of an image can enhance what is being presented. For some images I know the title I’ll use as I’m pressing the shutter release. To highlight some of these macro images I created a new series called The Little Things, hopefully you have enjoyed what I have been able to see.

I managed to be a little more prolific this year. I created 262 post on my blog which is 40 more than the previous few years. I leave it to you to decide if the extra content was worth it… 🙂

I switched back to my normal format this year, highlighting my favorite image for each month. As before, it might not be the most popular image but it is my favorite. Shall we dive into the special twelve…

January – The beginning of the year started off a little slow. I didn’t get outside much but this allowed me to rejuvenate my Oil Can Project. I had collected quite few items the previous year but did not feel the mood to photograph them. Apparently the mood struck in January as I posted the four newest images throughout the month. My favorite by far is the can for Major Cutting Oil. I remember finding this one in one of the consignment shops I haunt and not having a doubt or hesitation about acquiring it. Original post: Major


Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 20s, 28mm, f/11, ISO 200


February – I found a good groove this month. I ventured out into the cold quite a lot. I was able to do my annual pilgrimage to the Syracuse Rosamond-Gifford Zoo, although not in time for the photo contest. I even experimented with some abstract images created with oil, water and soap. My favorite though is an interior image of the Utica train station. I had seen a post from this same location online and I had to get down to the station to capture my own version. I forget how incredible the interior looks. Original post: Daybreak


Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1.3, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


March – Another good month for me. Plenty of excursions and an early melting of the snow helped increase my landscape work. There was also a trip or two up to the West Canada Creek for the water flow images that fascinate me. My favorite this month is also my most successful image online. I’m definitely not out to “collect” likes but when an image takes off it does make me feel good. This simple sunset from Delta Lake has a lot going for it; interesting foreground, leading lines, great color and wonderful reflections. You can’t always plan for an image like this one, luck plays a big part, but you do have to be able to “see” it. Original post: Come Back to Me


Come Back to Me
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/60s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


April – I was off to a slow start this month. There was a lot going on as I was closing on the sale of the house. I did manage to redeem myself after that was finalized and I had my free time back to myself. I did a nice series of monochrome images of the Delta Lake Dam but none of those ended up being my favorite. I captured a wonder sunrise at Bellamy Harbor Park one morning. Readers of this blog know this is one of my go-to places right in the city of Rome. I love the cloud formation in the sky, the colors and the amount of reflection in the water I was able to capture. Original post: Awake!


Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 4s, 26mm, f/16, ISO 100


May – My most prolific month this year. I posted thirty days in a row, missing only May 1st. I was everywhere this month. Trips to a few state parks, a lot of walks along the local trails, plenty of floral images including my favorite daisies and of course I managed to grab a lot of dandelion images. None of that compared to a morning excursion to Delta Lake and the Flower Moon. I’ll freely admit it was totally unplanned but Lady Luck was on my side that morning. Original post: Flower Moon


Flower Moon VI
Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.5-5.6 R, 1/30s, 150mm, f/11, ISO 200


June – More landscapes, a few state parks, a lot of Delta Lake and plenty of flowers. Delta Lake is an easy stop for me, it is only 5 minutes from my apartment and generally very photogenic (for a park). I love seeing how the park changes with the seasons but even my penchant for landscapes couldn’t prevent my love of a good daisy image. I love the amount of detail you find within the different areas of the daisy. I well lit monochrome image has to be my favorite. Original post: Her Crown


Her Crown
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 200


July – By now I was in full floral mode. Between the walks along the trails in Rome and my lunch time walks around the building I was putting my macro lens to good use. From finding different angles for favorite subjects to exploring up-close details, I was having a good time. And then the event of the summer caught my attention, the comet NEOWISE. I couldn’t let this celestial event pass me by but I was worried my abilities would not do it justice. I spent the beginning of the month learning as much as I could. My first attempt rewarded me with the comet with Ursa Major. I attempted a few more times but success was not in the cards. Original post: NEOWISE and Ursa Major


NEOWISE and Ursa Major
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 20s, 12mm, f/2.8, ISO 3200


August – After the previous month with the comet I tried again for some night images with the Perseid meteor shower. A couple attempts yielded a few results but nothing I consider image of the month worthy. I did manage to finally stop at Wagner Farms for the sunflowers. I have been driving by this place on my way home from work for quite a few years. It was definitely worth the visit. Plenty of stops at Delta Lake, and another trip to Ithaca for the gorges and some waterfall images. My favorite is of an out-of-the way location called Wells Falls. I attempted a visit earlier in the summer but the parking area was full. Although the sky was overcast, the water level was perfect for capturing the image I had in my head. The building on the left is an old pumping station. Original post: Remnant


Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 0.8s, 14mm, f/11, ISO 100


September – The autumn season started a little early this year. The leaves were beginning to change up North this month. I drove to Old Forge for a sunrise, my luck hadn’t change from my last attempt. I was rewarded with a few sprinkles and dark, overcast skies. I tried a few images around town but in the end decided to leave and return another weekend. On my drive back home I stopped at a location on the Moose River I have always wanted to explore. The low water levels worked in my favor. This image is a favorite for multiple reasons, mostly because I kept looking for the next image and explored until I found the one I truly wanted. Original post: Evolution of an Image


McKeever Pulp Mill
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 1/15s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 200


October – Autumn was in full swing this month and I was on another crusade to capture it all. A trip to Letchworth State Park in the beginning of the month produced quite a handful of images for me. There is a reason this park is one of the top state parks in the country. It never disappoints. I was able to squeeze in a few more trips to parks closer to home and I ended the month jumping back to the macro lens and my exploration of the little things most people don’t see. As much as those macros fascinate me, nothing could beat the view from Inspiration Point in Letchworth. A telephoto image of Middle and Upper Falls. Original post: Autumn Inspiration


Autumn Inspiration
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II, 1/3s, 85mm, f/18, ISO 64


November – Mostly a month of macros and the little things. If I wasn’t walking around the building at work I was exploring the trails within walking distance from my apartment. I also spent quite a few days on the trails in the Griffiss Sculpture Garden and a detour along one of the paths yielded my favorite image this month. There is a water tower on the old base and I must have walked past it a couple dozen times this year. One day early this month I walked down to it and was intrigued by the ladder going up the side. I only had my 60mm macro lens with me but it added to the feeling one must get as they start to climb up the tower. Original post: Nowhere but up…


Nowhere but up…
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/1600s, f/2.8, ISO 200


December – Not a very photo filled month. Not sure if it was the rush toward the end of the year, the weather or a lack of ambition on my part (most likely), but I ventured out very little. I did brave a zero degree morning at Bellamy Harbor and made another trip to the Delta Lake Dam during a particularly snowy morning. My favorite though was on a warm afternoon at work when I needed to stretch my legs. Again, it is a wonderful macro image enhanced by amazing light and tones. Original post: Embrace Me


Embrace Me
Olympus E-M1 Mark III, M. Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, 1/2500s, f/2.8, ISO 200


Another year has been put to bed. It has been interesting to say the least. A lot has been happening in our country and hopefully we will turn the corner soon to see the light is shining as we move ahead. I would like to be able to travel again, I’m in desperate need of some Florida coast photography. I would love to make another trip to Kennedy Space Center and explore the coast all the way down to Juno Beach. This year is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Walt Disney World (10/01/1971). As much as I have not been happy with the direction the current management is taking the parks, I can’t let a milestone like this pass without a visit. I would love to explore a few of our National Parks as well, wishful thinking, maybe, but it needs to be on my list.

I do know photography will be with me this year. It is my escape, my medicine and my therapy. I need to expand my The Little Things project as I find those images the most interesting. Landscapes are my go to image and state parks with waterfalls fill that need nicely. I hope you will find something interesting in the year to come…

I would like to thank everyone for their continued support. Your comments and encouragement are always welcomed and appreciated. I value the friendships I have developed with a lot of my regular readers. Although we have not met in person, your presence in my life brings me a lot of joy. Thanks!

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2021!

6 responses to “2020 What a Year

  1. Loved learning about you even more through your year-end look-back. 😊 Grateful for the stunning moments you capture and share with us. (And why am I not out exploring more across the street along the Florida Gulf Coast?!… Maybe tomorrow if I finish grading these student essays…) Happy New Year, Mike! Happy shooting!

  2. You’ve done a fantastic job this year. I really enjoy seeing what has captured your imagination. Thank you for sharing not only your images, but also your thoughts about how you photographed them.

    • Thanks Joanie! I love looking back over the year through the images I’ve captured. Sometimes I cringe but mostly I’m amazed at what I can find so close to home. I truly appreciate your support over the years. Happy New Year!

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