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Good-bye 2013

December 31, 2013
Western Scrub-Jay

© jmillerphoto.com – Western Scrub-Jay

I have gotten into a habit of doing a wrap-up for the year over the last couple of years.  It is good for self-reflection, taking inventory, and trying to figure out what “next” is going to be.  And all in all, 2013 has been a pretty good year.  Successes.  Missed Goals.  Ways to improve for 2014.

Among my successes was that I met my goal of days in the field.  My goal was 48.  This year I did 52.  I predicted in my 2013 Kick-off post that by November I would surpass that goal and I did.  You can’t buy the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.  And you can’t make good images if you’re not at least in the field to make images.  Goal knocked down.

My image quality has gotten progressively better this year.  As I go back and look at my days in the field, I have improved my keeper ratio quite a bit.  Part of it is acquiring additional local knowledge.  And part of it is just finally getting it right.  I know I have much still to learn and I need a lot more days in the field (and behind the computer) to do that.  But progress is being made.

I only hit 1 of my 5 “Want to Go” places.  Ultimately I did expand my geographic coverage a bit, making a solid trip down to the Lower Rio Grande Valley (or just “The Valley” if you speak Texan… my California friends would argue as to what “The Valley” really means).  I did not push my boundaries north, having still only made it as far as the south end of Austin and/or up to San Angelo.  My Dallas and Ft. Worth trips never materialized.  My Brazos Bend trip didn’t, either.  And my trip into a private blind also didn’t happen… life got in the way on that one.  But I did at least make it south for a short trip and I have hopes to make more trips south this year.

I also didn’t write as much as I wanted to.  Often that was also life getting in the way.  Multiple trips back to San Angelo to take care of property business didn’t help.  A quick trip to California didn’t either (though it did get me some lifer birds & images).  But that ate a lot of time through the fall.  Some goals are left on the table in this regard.  But in spite of some absences here and there, I have done a good job with writing.  There are some unfinished projects that I need to wrap up.  There are some series that I need to continue.    But 68 separate blog posts this calendar year is not too shabby.  Maybe this is a place where I need to add a numerical goal for next year.  Couple times of week, maybe?  Your input would be welcome.

So all in all it has been a good year.  Set high goals.  Made some of them.  Nudged a couple others.  Completely swung and missed at a couple.  It has been a photographically pleasing one.  But with this one gone, I have to contemplate the next.

About the Image:
Another of the Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) images from this past Saturday at Pedernales Falls SP near Junction City, Texas.  As always, the standard gear was being used.  Tech specs were ISO 400, 1/250 sec at f/8
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2013 12:42 pm

    I just found out about your blog today. So many beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading your blogs in 2014.

  2. louise permalink
    December 31, 2013 1:11 pm

    Happy New Year to you! I look forward to all your blog posts.

  3. December 31, 2013 7:12 pm

    Beautiful.

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