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Good-bye 2012.

January 1, 2013
Black Saddlebags

© jmillerphoto.com – Black Saddlebags

The interlude between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day has always been a good time for me to reflect on the past year and consider the goals and aspirations for the new year.  I’m going to break those thoughts into their separate sections, first talking here about 2012 and then on the next post talk about 2013.

In many ways, 2012 was an outstanding year for photography.  I met most of the goals that I set for myself in terms of days in the field, days of specific types of photography, and species to photograph.

  • I was able to get 52 days in the field–remarkable considering how busy I was at work and how many potential days I lost because of the wonderfully rainy weather we had early in the year.
  • I was able to get 13 days of shooting inside of bird blinds.  Some of these days were better than others, but generally it was very successful.
  • I added 28 species to the odonata life lists.  And more importantly, I made some really fantastic shots of a lot of those.

There were areas where I did not meet my expectations.

  • I had a goal of finding 20 butterfly species to add to the life list.  I fell short by 4, but that wasn’t bad considering that my plan for reaching 20 included a trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and that didn’t pan out.
  • I had a goal of finding 35 bird species to add to the life list.  We won’t discuss how much I missed that goal by, but it was significant.  That also was impacted by that lack of a trip to the LRGV.

Number-based goals are always easy to observe because, gosh darn it, they’re numbers.  Quality-based goals are tougher to measure.  And overall I am really happy with the images I am making right now.  Even in the areas where I missed goals I made images that I am very happy with.

And more importantly, I think I finally have a set of workflow processes that allows me to get through all of the images I shoot and find the best of the best to drop into the portfolio.

So all in all, I was really happy with photographic efforts in 2012.  It could have been better, but gosh darn it, 2012 was a pretty good year.

About the Image:
So I went a little back into the archives for this Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) that I shot in September.  This wasn’t a life list species- -I’ve seen them in a bunch of places.  But this was probably the first image I made of one that I was really happy with.  I got a few others later in the year (along with some dandy Red and Striped Saddlebags), but this was the first and thus the one I will use here.  As was the case most of the year, the Standard Gear was employed, no flash, ISO 400, 1/250th at f/13.

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