Happy New Year! The Mansurovs are back after a short holiday, with some photos to share from 2011. At the end of each year, I go back and start reviewing what I have photographed. It is a very long and painful process, because I have to sort through tens of thousands of images and pick the ones that I think are worthy of getting published as wallpapers on our website, in addition to being featured in our portfolio (I know, the images in the portfolio are very old, but I am working on updating it). While the process is very time consuming, if you have not gone back and reviewed your images from last year, I highly recommend that you do. It is a great exercise to re-evaluate your work and understand your weaknesses. You should be a better photographer now than you were a year ago, so see what you like and you don’t about your pictures. Are you seeing a significant improvement in your work? How do the images from last year compare to the images from the year before? Once you pick your favorites (which you should limit to 100 images max and don’t forget to flag them in Lightroom), invite your friends and family to look at your images. If you have any photographer friends, ask them to help you out with this. Tell them to be very critical and only pick the images that communicate with them. Let them vote on each images and give a star rating from 1 to 5. Walk out of the room and come back when they are done. Filter Lightroom by 5 stars and see how many images you are left with. Then ask your friends/family to tell you why they chose those particular images, find out what they felt about each photo. Also ask them what they feel is missing in each image they picked – perhaps there are some things they see that you did not see before. Trust me, this kind of feedback is invaluable. It is OK if the feedback is very harsh – you should welcome any criticism. In fact, you need to learn to be very critical of your work.
I have been so busy during the last couple of months, that I have not had a chance to work on any of the images from my recent trips. October is always a busy month for me, because I try to travel as much as I can in Colorado and Wyoming to capture the fall colors. This year was different than the previous several years, because we got some heavy snow in the mountains right when the leaves started changing colors. Because of this, many of the areas lost a lot of leaves very quickly. The window of opportunity to capture the beauty was only about 5-7 days and unfortunately, I was a little late (but more on that later).
The drive from Montana to Washington was beautiful. I really wanted to stop in many different locations and take more pictures, but I had a set and compressed schedule that I did not want to change. It was rainy and wet at Mount Rainier, which is quite normal at this time of the year. The snow was everywhere though and it turned out that I was there too early. Should have done my homework. I wanted to take pictures of wildflowers, but because of the high snow accumulation this year, there were very few areas in the park where you could find them. Apparently, the best time to be there is late August to early September. Oh well! I still managed to take some good waterfall pictures though:
Here are some photos that I decided to share with you from Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP from my trip across the Western USA. I have not done much processing on these yet, which I am hoping to do during the next few weeks. The images from Yellowstone NP are from the Nikon D5100 that I was testing – all images from my Nikon D3s were on the card that I unfortunately lost somewhere in Yosemite NP. All landscape images of Yellowstone are lost, so I only have some wildlife + wildflower shots to show.
From the bottom of our hearts we thank everyone, who made it today to our Portrait and Wedding Photography workshop. We are honored to have spent our day with great photographers and amazing friends. Although we do not have a picture of all of us together (I don’t know how we forgot that!), I am sure we will meet again and have another opportunity to have lots of fun and help each other out! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go through post-processing this time and we are hoping to cover it next Saturday.
We just got back from a two week vacation in Florida and we are back on track with a workshop schedule update for free workshops coming up during the next few weeks. The dates are now finalized, with the following information and schedules (please see the bottom of this page on how to sign up for a workshop):
I am putting together a schedule of workshops that Lola and I will be organizing during the next few months. Many of our readers have been asking whether we conduct workshops or not and we are excited to announce that we will be hosting a number of free photography workshops in Colorado this year. Why free? Because first, this is what our website is all about – to give free knowledge to our readers, and second, both Lola and I love sharing our knowledge and helping out struggling photographers.
It has been a while since I photographed birds. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a local park to scout for some birds. Although I did not get a good opportunity to photograph small birds, I found a couple of hawks that were willing to somewhat cooperate. The first one let me watch him on an electric pole for a little, right before he dove down to get a dead rabbit:
This is a bonus post to my Best of 2010 series, with pictures that did not make it to landscape or wildlife categories. I’m posting images that have received positive feedback from our readers and some of the below images were specifically requested to be provided in high resolution.