Monday, January 05, 2015

Favorite Photos of 2014: Seventeen Through Twenty-Five

Last set of photographs for the (previous) year. As before, these are my momentary favorites: selection can and will depend on the day. Also, these are by no means my "best" photographs from a technical sense. For one, I'm rarely satisfied with the technical aspects of my photos. I always seem to be fighting with noise and shadow detail. New equipment necessary? Maybe, but that would probably just push the complaints along.

Please enjoy this last set of photos.

This is a photo of the sunset in Columbia, MO. I spent two years in Columbia for my master's degree, but haven't visited any parts that weren't on the interstate in more than a decade. This time, I drove through town, past where I used to live, past where my girlfriend at the time used to live, past the sub shop, past the church where I played that one Christmas gig. This photo was taken with the camera held against the old brick of the Missouri Theatre, now owned by the University. A gorgeous night, and a more spectacular photo than I expected. One of the few I've printed and framed.

Portrait of Joe Parisi. Joe is a good friend and a very considered conductor. During one of his fall concerts, I caught him backstage, waiting in the near darkness. Face towards the gap in the accoustical shell, it caught his face in a striking light, revealing an expression that is calm and focused. The reflected light from the floorboards gives a nice golden up-light. It's hard to tell on the white background of this blog page, but the left quarter of the picture is an almost pure-white glow of the over-exposed stage.

Another conductor friend, another study in light and dark. Chris Kelts is an orchestra director and a mensch. I took a few shots of him rehearsing in a church basement, directly in front of a projector screen. It gave an interesting look, so I manipulated the image to obscure the details on the dark and the light side, and ended up with a very impressionistic photo.

Portrait of Anthony Rodgers. Anthony is rarely serious, except when he's at his most arch. I caught this moment of him observing something over my shoulder, his face neutral -- very unlike him. Another shot from the hip, but the lighting in the banquet bar area was extremely flattering, if somewhat low -- notice that the focus settled on the cabinet behind him. 

Trumpeter Lawrence Jackson, captured in the red light that pervades the environment of one of the jazz clubs. I liked the clarity and attention given to the soloist and the lantern, both in the same focusing plane. Man, that club is dark. Photo taken from an unreleased photo shoot.

Students at a boxing gym. I was given permission to photograph a Saturday session at a local boxing gym. Lots of possibilities for neat angles and close-up character studies. I didn't even realize this man had tattoos on his arm when I took this shot. The awareness only came after I was selecting which photos would make the short list from the day.

Just one of those beautiful Kansas sunsets. I may dislike that it is flat and there aren't enough trees, but it does make for beautiful skies. I took this with my camera resting on the roof of my white car, just to see if it would yield interesting results. I've since duplicated it a few more times, just because I love the way it adds to the sky or the scenery being photographed.

Photo of "The Kiss of Victory," sculpted by Sir Arthur Gilbert (1854-1934), on display in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I love walking through art museums, and I love walking through art museums that are new to me. While spending a night in Minneapolis this fall, I wandered the museum, taking photos of art and photos of people looking at art. This sculpture was located between an educational tour group in the back right, the young docent giving directions in the rear center, and a small group of young kids being given an art lecture over my right shoulder.

Tree located in the park nearby. One of the things I've criticized myself for is my inability to capture subjects that aren't human. For whatever reason (and I'm mystified myself), I have a much easier time capturing people in all their various degree. Buildings, nature, scenic views: I'm mostly dissatisfied with my pictures of them. They either fail to capture the moment, or they look too artificial -- or worse, too uninteresting. For whatever reason, this picture came out very close to how I pictured it on the day, and it captured the cold feeling of mid-November, while still showing that it is not quite winter.


  1. Excellent work, Dr Andy. 17, 18, and 25 are my personal favorites. Thanks for posting these!