As others do , I annually assemble a selection from my past year’s photography.  I go through all of my files for the year, and pick out those images that I particularly liked or that I thought were noteworthy.

Last year I started something new…a selection from the selection.  That was an effort to single out an even smaller set that I felt best characterized my work and its breadth.  That was a challenge but satisfying so here’s the story for 2017.


Our lives generally restart with each new day.  I had already chosen this one for the set and thought it would be good to begin the post with a new day.  I am always drawn to back-lit scenes and specular reflections.  That’s what I saw here but I was also taken with the father and son doing some investigating at dawn.  The specular reflection also takes the eye diagonally across the image to the others walking the beach who anchor the scene in the corner .


This is also a morning scene.  In this case it’s early enough that the morning dew hasn’t yet evaporated.  I’m fond of these beach roses and it was nice to come upon a bud just opening.


I was fortunate to grab this shot while I was waiting around for a sunset scene to complete a summer day post.  Instead, the drama of the cloud shapes and their side-lighting drew my interest.  Then it was “Cue gull” and it flew in almost perfectly positioned. I’d have preferred it just a little more down to its right.  Notice also the cloud shadow coming in from lower left to upper right.  And (I’m sorry but I can’t resist it) the big cloud puff is in danger from the alligator cloud moving in on it.


This is my fantasy arboretum.  It consists of a pebbled glass plate on which the artist painted tree trunks and birds and then glued on bits of crackled glass along with some larger tumbled pieces.  It attracted me because of its novelty and whimsy and because it’s pretty.  I actually photographed two of them together, one slightly to the right and in front of the other, and then blended them in Photoshop.


This gathering is a favorite for several reasons.  First is the lighting coming in from our left which adds contrast to the scene, and it’s a warm morning light; second is the diagonal array of the terns and the shoreline which takes the eye well into the image to the anchoring trees at upper right; third, I like that the line of the waves parallels the beach and the birds; fourth, I always find these tern gatherings amusing.


This scene is not on the beach!  It’s unusual for me but it’s a special for the year.  I had gone to Philadelphia to photograph a December festival of lights at Franklin Park which is located at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge from New Jersey.  I enjoyed all of that but this scene from the park grabbed my attention.  In the upper foreground is the sculpture of lightning honoring Benjamin Franklin.  In the lower foreground are the headlights of cars streaming past on 6th Street in front of the steps to the sculpture.  Behind the sculpture we see the traffic and towers of the bridge.  It’s the kind of scene that requires study and is well out of my landscape comfort zone.  Good!  My friend and colleague, Richard Lewis, described the scene as asymmetric symmetry, and I like that as well as the scene.


Although I admit a predilection for foggy scenes this image earned its way into the selections for total effect. The four regressively dimming poles provide the eye’s path into the image.  That the poles’ direction is reversed in their reflections creates tension.  Although hard to see in this image there are two Ospreys perched on the third pole; grounded due to poor visibility.


This image appeals to me.  It’s a statement about the darkness that says “End of season.  Go home.”  I like the sole foreground feature, the boat, and I see the horizon beyond the last marker as the end of the world.

(Never mind that the mainland is only a few miles over there.)


We’re approaching the end of the day so a sunset or twilight is appropriate.  This is one of my all time favorites .  The colors and clouds are, of course, wonderful.  The shutter speed was slow because of the low light such that we see creamier water.  But the crowning touch was to have the Willets stroll in and settle there  for the 1.6″ of exposure.  Without them, nice but just another twilight on the beach.


Finally, and at the end of the day, we had a special full moon in early December.  I set up the tripod and the long lens with extender and, yes, I got some nice shots of the moon which pretty much looked like every other moon shot in my files.  Then I wondered about the possibilities of this kind of shot.  It “grabs” me somehow.  I know that’s not definitive but … it’s mysterious and I’m drawn into the image.  I also like that next year’s buds were already formed and ready in December.  Consider it an early spring image.



So, there you are; a special sampling of where I was in 2017, what I saw, what appealed to me, and what I captured.


Thanks for reading and looking.  The rest of the year’s keepers are in this gallery.




In a recent post, Ian Plant, mentor-to-many, said this:

“The collision of moisture and light is where photo magic is made.”

It seemed bang-on for another post about fog and surf. The Jersey shore this spring has experienced more fog than usual.  Up around Sea Bright there was seen a stationary fog bank just off shore that looked like an approaching tsunami wave.  A friend from Avalon, further south, told me that they’ve had a foggy spring as well.  Ours continues along Long Beach Island and while it’s pleasant and rather clear two or three blocks from the beach, the morning fog is parked on the beach and eastward.

Here’s a beach rose (Rosa Rugosa) covered with droplets from the morning fog.

Image 01


Soon enough the blossoms age and drop their petals.  Sad but …. life.

Image 02


The fog enhances some interesting patterns in the snow fencing of a winding path.

Image 03


At the water’s edge my focus (no pun intended) was on the use of a Variable Neutral Density filter to smooth out or homogenize the surf.  (You can read about this — or not — by pulling down that tab at the top of the page … Mastering Variable Neutral Density Filters.)  Here’s one result.  Remember, I’ve not only greatly slowed the shutter speed, it was also a misty scene.

Image 04


 Or, from the other side of the jetty….

Image 06

I’ll be working this pasture again this summer and fall.  A nor’easter’s waves will call me.


But, with or without the variable filter, fog offers lots of possibilities for interesting images.  Here’s one that especially pleased me.

Image 05


Moral:  “Have a nice day.” is not always a good wish for photographers.