My 12 “Greatest Hits” Of 2012

January 3rd, 2013 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

My Personal Favorites Or 12 Top Picks Of 2012, Whatever You Want To Call Them

Oaks, Grizzly Ridge, Fall, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Oaks, Grizzly Ridge, Fall, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

One of my neighbors, who I grew up with, has told me from time to time that he had to quit photography because he became too obsessed with it. It came out that he spent enough money on gear, gasoline, printing, matting and framing to put himself and his large family into debt. That was the destructive aspect, not the obsession with the art itself.

Cloudy Sunset, Genesee Valley, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Cloudy Sunset, Genesee Valley, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

When we were young men I admired the same neighbor for his focus, determination and tireless effort that made him a success in sports, a large and strong weight lifter and an airline pilot. I contend that any endeavor of meaning, especially in the arts, for excellence to be attained, requires an obsessive dedication.

This is why I thought I could never be a photographer. I still sometimes do not consider myself one. My father, pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde, had the passion and drive for excellence and the results to prove it, but until 2009 I had been lackadaisical about photography for 35 years. I will share more on my artistic journey below, but first I must tell you about the photographs here. Also, a big thank you to Jim Goldstein at JMG Galleries for putting this “best of the year” blog project on each year. I feel he’s a genius for inventing it.

The photographs in this blog post are all single image capture, though I do bracket for the eventual future date that I may possibly have the time to learn how to blend

Grasses, Indian Creek Below Indian Valley, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, Fall, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Grasses, Indian Creek Below Indian Valley, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, Fall, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

or even, gasp, make High Dynamic Range or HDR prints. I do minimal post-processing, though I do use Photoshop to the degree that it is essentially equivalent to the darkroom. On most images I use Photoshop “Levels,” “Curves” and “Hue/Saturation” Layers. On “Pool, Cascade, Red Clover Creek” I used the Healing Brush to remove two prominent bird droppings on the center boulder that distracted and crapped up the photograph. On “Dawn, American River From Fair

Fog, Rocky Promontory, Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Sea Coast, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Fog, Rocky Promontory, Pacific Ocean, Mendocino Sea Coast, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Oaks Bluffs,” I also used the Healing Brush to remove a sunspot. Fortunately the sunspot backdrop against the even textured and dark toned, shadowy beach enabled this easy approach. I doubt I could have pulled off some of the more complicated methods of removing sunspots in Photoshop CS4, without spending many hours on the learning curve. I saw the video on removing sunspots in CS5, which takes one tenth the time with the use of Smart Fill. Made me lust after

Pool, Cascade, Red Clover Creek, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Pool, Cascade, Red Clover Creek, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

newer versions of Photoshop software, but for now I will remain chained to my forced frugality of a full-time learning photographer and use my CS4, which is just fine.

Photoshop is a much more precise and powerful tool than any darkroom ever. I still, however, believe that we photographers have a contract with the general public that photographs traditionally are expected to represent “reality.” Nobody is arguing that photographs are “real.” Therefore, from time to time I do

Twilight, Indian Creek, Vertical, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Twilight, Indian Creek, Vertical, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

amp up the post processing way beyond what looks “real” just to be sure that the viewing public knows I have been up to something. Meanwhile, especially with landscape photography, I’ve discovered that most of the time a RAW file does not look like the scene I photographed. Usually it is less saturated, for one thing, and usually has much less range of color and tones and much less shadow and highlight detail. This can all be partially or completely solved with Photoshop and thus I do espouse it, just as I prefer to use a good hammer more than a rock to pound in nails. I’m sure I will eventually use plugins and other add-ons, just as a professional carpenter, to compete these days, needs an air compressor driven nail gun. In the near future, look for my new “Sierra Nevada Portfolio,” that will contain large versions of these images and many others, to be posted after the 17 portfolios of Dad’s photography and below my “Portfolio One” on Also, to see more of my photography and philosophy see the blog post, “David Leland Hyde Archival Prints Pre-Launch,” or “Best Photos Of 2011.”

Ice Plant, Mist, Duncan Cove State Beach, Pacific Ocean, Sonoma Coast, California copyright by David Leland Hyde.

Ice Plant, Mist, Duncan Cove State Beach, Pacific Ocean, Sonoma Coast, California copyright by David Leland Hyde.

In 2009, I first came into the digital era and bought a Nikon D90 DSLR. Until then, I had used a Pentax K1000 35 mm film camera that my father gave me around 37 years ago when I was about 10 years old. I immediately loved making photographs with the Nikon D90 digital camera because it seemed easy to obtain decent results. I would like to graduate to a better camera one of these days for the purpose of making better big prints. I purchased my camera at Costco on special.

Rocks Along Spanish Creek, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Rocks Along Spanish Creek, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

They had a package that included two lenses, a camera bag, strap, an 8 MG SD Card, a video and a few other little photo items that gave me everything I needed for pro-sumer photography. The larger lens that I don’t use very often is a Nikkor 55-200 mm, 1:4-5.6 lens. I make 95 percent of my images with the wide-angle lens, which is a basic Nikkor 18-55 mm, 1:3.5-5.6 lens. I would like to buy more lenses, but cannot justify the investment until my print sales pay for the new gear.

Community Church, Taylorsville, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Community Church, Taylorsville, Plumas County, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Before 2011 especially, and even now, I have little time for my own photography, but this year I still indulged in and enjoyed the making of over 10,000 images. Meanwhile, I have other goals and responsibilities including the development of my father’s large format and medium format photography in the digital era, expanding the presence of his vintage photographs in major museums and my own long, grinding, slowly developing writing career. Until 2012, I still had many frustrations with photography and still get lividly annoyed with Photoshop today.

Currently, due to several delays and complications I am blessed and cursed to be where the main subject is the wilderness landscape of the Northern Sierra Nevada. This has given me much joy, but also frustration in that I intend to photograph more people, street scenes, disasters, cultural events and other art and quasi-journalistic subjects. I would have loved to be the first photographer to arrive at the BP Gulf Oil Spill or in Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster.

Dawn, American River From Fair Oaks Bluffs Near Sacramento, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Dawn, American River From Fair Oaks Bluffs Near Sacramento, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Port Of Stockton, Great Central Valley, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Port Of Stockton, San Joaquin River Deep Water Tidal Channel, Great Central Valley, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Regardless, I had several breakthroughs in 2012. I improved technically. I became clear that even though I will keep my own photography as a sideline for now, at some point I will incorporate it into my primary work. I also caught the photography bug. I am bitten and camera smitten. Though it is an investment in the future, I photograph “too much” in that at this stage the extra time away from representing my father’s vintage work is costing me and threatening my solvency. Because of photography, I am trying to do “too much.” However, my own photography has saved me in some ways. I wrote about this in a recent blog post reviewing 2012 and introducing a poem about my mother, Ardis Hyde, who wrote most of the Hyde Travel Logs: “Happy Holidays…?…!” Besides keeping me fit and serving as an outlet, my own work has brought me more fulfillment and peace. It entices me out of the house and out from behind the desk and computer

Indian Creek And Forest From Above, Fall Snow, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

Indian Creek And Forest From Above, Fall Snow, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 2012 by David Leland Hyde.

screen. Landscape photography has helped me feel the light on the mountains, smell the woods, hear the lulling water and expand into the spirit of open spaces. I am rooted and connected to nature more often. Yet for me any genre of photography, photography without borders, without labels or definitions, pre-planned or visualized, observed quietly or full of surprises and experimentation, any and all of it is a hoot and an inspiration. Now after almost four decades of carrying a camera off and on, I can finally say, it is an obsession.

Please share which images you like most here and which you like least…

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  1. Richard Wong says:

    Sounds like you had a discovery sort of year, David. Glad that you’ve found your own desire to make images and looking forward to seeing where it takes you in the coming years. Cheers to 2013.

  2. Hi Richard, yes definitely: cheers to 2013. There is much to look forward to both this year and in the future to come for both of us. See you there.

  3. Greg Russell says:

    Excellent essay and images, David. Photography, as it should be, is definitely an obsession of mine, and while it brings me great happiness, I will confess to also laying awake at night worrying about how to remove a sunspot from an image (for example). It’s kind of freaky, actually.

    I personally don’t see anything wrong with Photoshop. As you said, the RAW image captured by the camera is not a 100% accurate representation of the scene anyway. On top of that, photography is art, and that implies (in my mind anyway) some sort of personal touch.

    That said…I prefer to give a sense of what it would be like to be at the scene itself, and avoid oversaturated colors and other garish effects applied in post-processing.

    You’re a photographer David…my congratulations and condolences. Looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings you!

  4. Hi Greg, Photoshop will give anyone nightmares, but it has it’s fun and interesting discoveries too. Thank you for the compliments and the declaration that you believe I am now a real photographer. That says a lot coming from you. Probably winning some contests and selling some stock photography will say a lot too, when I get a chance to do such with my own work. I am selling prints, though, which is a good sign.

  5. Sharon says:

    Boy, I like that Grasses, Indian Creek below Indian Valley photograph, David. That’s a real beauty. Your honesty is refreshing as well. I like how you see the journey ahead. I look forward to seeing more of your work. It gets better all the time. I think all of us would be glad to say the same about our own work.

    Looking forward to a great 2013!


  6. Always appreciate your constructive feedback, Sharon. This jpeg version of “Grasses, Indian Creek Below Indian Valley” looks darker than the tiff file, which seems to make it hard to see the subtle detail in the shadows for some reason. Never fear, I’ll announce the photograph’s appearance in a large image size soon on the main website in my new “Sierra Nevada Portfolio.” Have a great new year.

  7. Bret Edge says:

    I just love the “Fog, Promontory” photograph, David. Really an excellent collection of images and a lovely essay. I wish you much happiness and success in 2013.

  8. Bret, coming from you, one of the excellent photography story tellers and image describers, this is quite a compliment. Good to hear that Mendocino Coast image strikes a chord. Best to you also in 2013.

  9. pj says:

    Ah yes… the obsession got a hold of you. I can sympathize.

    It’s interesting to see your work progress as time passes, and this is a fine selection.

    Rocks Along Indian Creek is especially strong, as is the Fog, Rocky Promontory photo. But the one that really keeps pulling me back is Twilight, Indian Creek. It’s subtle, understated, but it conveys a feeling of intimacy often lacking in this day of garish landscapes.

    Good work.

  10. Hi PJ, thank you for the imput regarding the photos. You know how to pick ’em. Many people seem to like “Rocks Along Spanish Creek” and “Fog, Rocky Promontory, Mendocino Coast.” However, “Twilight, Indian Creek” is one of my personal favorites. I can’t wait to see a big print of it. You and others will like it much more when you see it larger on the website. All of these photographs are better larger, but the other images that don’t seem to show up nearly as well here are, “Cloudy Sunset, Genesee Valley,” “Pool, Cascade, Red Clover Creek” and “Dawn, American River From Fair Oaks Bluffs.” People usually give me a hard time in the comments on my “Best of the Year” posts because they want to see the images larger. All I can say is that I am working on it. I need to do quite a number of things to enable large posting of the images, including looking into a new theme or a plugin like I’ve seen on a number of blogs that allows you to click on the image and see a larger version. I like to keep the posts from getting too long and like people to view all the photographs in an overview as well as larger too. There are other important concerns and decisions to be made too before I go large with images on the blog. I may never go extra large here.

  11. Jim says:

    Hello David,

    Another thoughtful post. I really like the “Indian Creek And Forest From Above” image. Just today, I was lamenting on Facebook about how much I miss snow living here in southern California.

    I appreciate your comments on Photoshop as well. There are people who think “photoshop” is a dirty word; that whatever comes out of the camera is the final image, but they also probably have no idea how much manipulation Ansel Adams employed in the darkroom with dodging and burning, adjusting contrast using a variety of printing papers, and affecting tonal range by varying development time.

    Personally, I like to interpret scenes based on what I felt and experienced when photographing them rather than making a straight documentary image; but I’m talking about interpreting reality and not creating it on the computer by employing photo composite techniques.

    I hope you have a great year, David. And hey, we’re four days into 2013 and so far, so good. 🙂

  12. Hi Jim, I was hoping someone would like, “Indian Creek And Forest From Above.” It’s an important point you make in both ways about Ansel Adams’ post-processing of silver prints in the darkroom. The idea that he did manipulate some of his images a great deal is often made, but most people who are removing objects and moving them around in Photoshop forget that Ansel Adams still was able to call himself a straight photographer because he maintained the spirit of representing “reality” as he saw it. On one occasion he removed initials carved in a tree and there was one other manipulation he made of another nature or similar to that one. He did not add and subtract objects as a general rule. He manipulated mood, tone, light and dark areas and other basic changes. This is what I limit my alterations to for the most part. I leave in power lines, “distracting” sticks and don’t smooth over or retouch ugly dirt areas. That’s all part of nature. That area of changing images is where I draw the line and tend to agree with my father. He wanted to show nature as it is, rather than nature all dressed up on her best day. His image selection also exemplified the subtle, everyday aspects of nature. He was not going for drama usually. He said, “Nature is dramatic enough.” Drama is part of nature to be sure, but ought to be represented in landscape photographs about as often is you see it out in the wilderness. Perhaps a five to one ratio of everyday to drama would be more appropriate for landscape photography, rather than what you so often see today: the trend toward every single image being as hopped up as possible. People still use Ansel Adams’ manipulations as justification to completely change the nature of images in the name of art, which to me is not fair to Ansel or the viewer. I do, however, believe the sky is the limit, as long as you disclose whatever manipulations you do make and don’t throw around Ansel’s name as an excuse to cut and paste like crazy. For example, when Carr Clifton wanted to take a few distant picnic tables out of one of Dad’s photographs, I said, “No way.” With Dad’s archival prints we still have to remain true to straight photography. Straight photography does not mean it is strictly documentary, as many mislabel it now, it just means we are artistically representing “reality” not leading people to believe something that is a remaking or recreation is “reality.” Notice, I said above in my essay that nobody is claiming photographs are “real,” but photographs have come to be understood as representing what is “real.”

  13. Hugh Sakols says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for sharing your photographs. I like Oaks, Grizzly Ridge. This fall certainly had some striking color in the black oaks. Right now my website link directs you to my years favorite portfolio. I’ve had the holidays to actually work on my own stuff. Happy New Year.

  14. Hi Hugh, Happy New Year to you too. Thanks for stopping in. Since I couldn’t find where to make a comment, I’ll say here that I like your gallery of unusual Yosemite backcountry favorite photographs of the year. Glad you liked “Oaks, Grizzly Ridge.” It is the big landscape scene of the group.

  15. Guy Tal says:

    Beautiful work, David. Glad to see you evolving your own portfolio and style. Duncan Cove is the one I found most moving.


  16. Hello Guy, I appreciate you taking the time to look and share that you like Duncan Cove. It sure was a gloomy, damp morning on the Sonoma Coast at that hour. A bit of a contrast to your desert images, I would say.

  17. David:

    Wonderful post & very nice images. I esp. like the rocks on Spanish Creek, and the Oaks on Grizzly Ridge. Like Guy mentioned, it’s always great to watch someone evolve their personal style. I can see from your work the affinity which you’ve mentioned for Valerie Millett’s work. Keep up the good work!

  18. Thank you, Gary, for the encouragement. I had never heard of Valerie Millett or seen any of her work before in my life, but I like her philosophy and style, now that I’ve Googled her. You perhaps were talking to someone else about her…? Anyway, thanks for inadvertently introducing me to another photographic artist.

  19. Wonderful photographs, David, and I also enjoyed reading your thoughts on them as well!
    If I were to pick one, single favorite of yours it would be “Fog, Promontory”.

    By the way, after having read this post I wanted to ask you if you have tried Lightroom? Shooting in RAW and only doing basic adjustments like exposure, curves, white balance, hue/sat. and healing brush, LR really is more than powerful enough and in general a fantastic tool that yields excellent results. After I started using LR (vers. 4.2), the use of disc space has been reduced significantly (not saving master files as TIFF anymore) and it`s much quicker to make a “sketch” of a RAW-file to see if it works in the end. I am quite old-fashioned and was on the fence for a long long time before LR became an almost stand-alone RAW-converter that gets the work done properly. Now, I don`t look back and really appreciate it. Just my thoughts, David.

    May 2013 be a wonderful year for you and your loved ones.
    Seung Kye

  20. Seung Kye, good to hear from you. I thought you might have been swallowed up in a snowdrift in Norway. Not really. Wow, another vote for “Fog, Rocky Promontory,” I am grateful for your feedback and the advice about Lightroom. I have Lightroom 2, I think it is. My only hesitation is that there is so darn much to learn. I’m focusing currently on good old fashioned print sales and writing for magazines and newspapers off-line. I am just starting to get good at what I want to do in Photoshop, not even any of the advanced stuff, having to learn more about SEO, metadata, keywording, Google+, Google Analytics, Google this, Google that, Facebook, Pinterest, Blog integration with all of these, scanning, printing, stumble upon, stumble around, LinkedIn, LinkedOut, Flickr, Twitter, flitter, fiddle, faddle, frick it is a lot, excuse my french. I’m only one guy trying to share my own work and represent my dad all at once. I have too darn many plates spinning. I laughed the other day because I went out photographing with an old friend, the guy I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and he was talking about various custom camera settings he made on his Canon DSLR. I laughed and told him I had never read the entire manual to my Nikon D90, didn’t have time, didn’t have any idea how to use many of the settings on my camera and wasn’t convinced that I ought to care. I had a Photoshop Adobe employee tell me that there are so many features on Version 6 that no one person could ever learn to use them all in one lifetime. What’s the point of having them then? I guess different people use different features, but sheesh. Where does this technology landslide end? At the same time, you are not the first to mention how well Lightroom works. I wish I had learned it rather than Photoshop now in some ways. But in talking to Carr Clifton, about the ins and outs of both, there are just some things that Photoshop can do that Lightroom can’t. He likes and uses Lightroom, but he also has to roll out Photoshop for some of the heavy lifting at times. One question I haven’t found out: does Lightroom maintain better integrity to your images? In other words, someone said there was less data loss when doing manipulations in Lightroom, can you verify that one way or another? Also, one thing that annoys me about Photoshop is that there is no decent way to resize to a small jpeg and maintain any quality. Resize for web strips metadata and alters the colors and the regular save makes the files too big. Does Lightroom work better for resizing?

  21. Great set of photographs, David! What a way to celebrate your efforts and progress of 2012. It certainly sounds like you have some exciting things to look forward to in 2013. I wish you much success and happiness in this new year of new opportunities!

    Though you’ve captured many moments of more dramatic weather, I sense a calming peace among most of the images here. I enjoy them all, but the ones that resonate most with me include “Oaks,” “Fog,” “Twilight,” and “Ice Plant.” Thank you for sharing!

  22. Hi Colleen, I am enthused that you took time out of all of your travels, workshops and speaking I’ve read about to comment. I don’t take it lightly, even though you always lighten things up wherever you go. Someday I’ll meet you in person and find out if that is as true in real life as it is in e-mail and online venues. I appreciate the well-wishes for the new year too. Right back at you. Interesting what you say about the peace in my photographs. I wouldn’t have noticed that until you said it. Good observation. I probably have a much more peaceful life than many people rushing around in more the populous areas of civilization, but I am not sure my inner reality reflects the peace I seek and obtain in the outdoors while photographing. Thank you for all the laughs and inspiration you have provided this year. It has been a pleasure e-meeting you. Some day you and your husband will have to come visit the Hyde home that my father built in the mountains and my parents carved out of the wilderness here. Talk about a peaceful getaway. Best wishes and I’ll read you soon.

  23. pj says:

    I’ll throw in my two cents here on scaling for the web for what it’s worth.

    For web use I use GIMP. It’s far superior for resizing and scaling for the web in my opinion. Very quick and easy. It sucks for printing though.

    For printing I use Elements9. I do very little to a photo beyond a few curve and contrast adjustments and maybe some minor cropping if needed. Elements is a pleasure to print with. For my purposes the full Photoshop would be overkill, at least at this point.

  24. Hello again PJ, thanks for returning to offer those resizing solutions. Besides Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom, I have Elements 8. I will look into GIMP when I get a chance. I seem to remember that you mentioned somewhere a while ago that it is a free download.

  25. It’s been almost 6 years since I left my Corporate job, and I’ve tried to conscientiously evaluate (perhaps too strong of a word…monitor?) my inner mental state as compared to my photographic results since then. When I worked with a lot of people, none of my photos had people in them. When I left, suddenly I wanted to photograph people engaged with the outdoors. Similarly, I have found that my outdoor photographs reflect a more peaceful tone when I’m experiencing drama in my head. On the flip side, I look for and create drama in my pictures when I have inner peace (aka, I get the voices to shut up! LOL!). Regardless of my inner state, it seems I (we?) inherently seek balance through our artistic pursuits. Not scientific or mind-blowing by any means, but it’s entertaining to try to understand where some of our expressions originate from. An endless pursuit with no clear answer, no doubt…

    Not much else would thrill me more than to meet you in person and visit the Hyde home someday to hear more stories and share good laughs! Until then, keep up the great work and thoroughly enjoy chasing your obsession! 😀

  26. Colleen, I appreciate you coming back with these important ideas. I find it highly confirming that the idea of analyzing photographs for their inner meaning to the photographer has not lost significance in this age at least to some. My father spoke on these subjects, as did Dad’s mentor, Minor White, before him. Minor White may have been the first to say that photographs are a reflection of the photographer’s inner state of mind and feeling. Ansel Adams disagreed with some of Minor White’s philosophy and had a different interpretation to photographs. He believed that photographs and their subject matter were external events, that certain experiences in nature had a spiritual effect on him, which he then tried to convey to the viewer of his photographs. I believe they are both right and certainly their students benefitted greatly from their debates and discussions. For more on these see the series of blog posts on Photography’s Golden Era filed in the Photography History Category. The first post in the series, that mentions Minor White’s teaching, drawn from Dad’s notes and other books on the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, is Photography’s Golden Era 6, .

    Also, Colleen, I ought to say that from my writing background, I am familiar with the idea you phrase as, “Regardless of my inner state, it seems I (we?) inherently seek balance through our artistic pursuits.” For example, a playwright may end his love story the way he wishes his own life had turned out. In his re-writing of the story to tie neatly up in a satisfying way at the end as well-written fiction does, he finds inner balance and solace. I’ve observed this in studying plays, novels and screenplays written by others, as well as noticed the tendency in my own writing to find that catharsis, that resolution of the various and perhaps chaotic elements that make up “reality.” That this idea applies to photography as well makes a great deal of sense. Of course today we live in a post-modern world where fiction does not necessarily resolve at the end and where major museum curators and Time Magazine and others have claimed that nature is dead. I believe that when we make beautiful images we are looking for the catharsis of knowing that beautiful places still exist, of wishing they were perhaps more common than they are, of making them more prominent in the reality of all people and perhaps making a statement that we believe they need to continue and be protected. We still do this even though this kind of photography is becoming perhaps less popular, or at least less recognized by the media for its own merits, not that it ever was as well-recognized as other genres.

    We will have to meet some time and perhaps you can come visit. The opportunity may develop now that you will be in Oregon for a while. If you are passing through Northern California, a stop through here would be well worth your while in many ways…

  27. Rafael Rojas says:

    David, it is really a portfolio which already shows a lot. I agree with Colleen, I see too quite a sense of quietness, calm and silent beauty which I find very enlightening. I love Indian Creek, Fog and Pool…I wish you a lot of joy in the self-discovery which lies ahead for this 2013…I will be really glad to follow your work meanwhile! 😉

  28. Thanks for your confidence in my images, Rafael. From you such thoughts are very welcome and the highest compliments. Have a great new year, mi amigo. I will enjoy watching for your work too.

  29. Kevin Ebi says:

    Greetings, David! It’s great to see you growing as a photographer in your own right. When I first became obsessed with photography, it was for similar reasons. I had an office job and appreciated photography for its ability to get me away from a screen and out into what’s actually the real world. It also provided something tangible for all my efforts. I could look at a slide and say, “I made that.” I think we all need a little of that. Accomplishments in the business world can, well, be less visible, which I think makes it harder to find meaning.

    My favorite of your 2012 images is the snowy view of Indian Creek. I really like the composition. It has a great design. The Indian Creek grasses are another favorite because of the great lighting. I like Rocky Promontory for the same reason.

    Can’t wait to see what you produce this year!

  30. Hi Kevin, I feel it is a profound distinction you make between corporate success on someone else’s ladder versus success in your own endeavors and the meaning they each bring. I am grateful for your input as to which images you like. It will be fun to continue our pursuit of making great photographs in 2013. May your be as fulfilling or more so than ever.

  31. Haha, I still manage to keep my head above the snow, David!

    I do agree about Photoshop (or Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X4 that I use) can, in some situations, help bring out a photograph in a way that LR (4.2) can`t, but for most of my own work, LR is more than enough. I have developed a workflow in LR that has yielded excellent results for printing. There are some situations though, where I like to fine tune things on a 16-bit layer, but for most work that is not necessary. At the point of LR version 4.2, the LR has nearly become a full-fledged RAW-to-print software for me.
    Regarding web images; in LR you can resize to the exact size that you want, save as JPEG (srgb color space will look different/poorer from Adobe RGB/ProPhoto color space no matter the software used) and you can also limit file size and/or image quality of the JPEG, all without loosing the original EXIF/metadata in the process. Regarding resizing; my experience is that LR provides the same quality as any other (good) software, and LR does provide the solutions to the things you mention above, with ease.

    In the end, I think that what works best for one not necessarily is the best choice for everyone. Me for instance, never have used Photoshop (many of its functions/quality as for landscape photography has been provided by PSP X4), and until recently I`ve used Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP) for years as the only RAW-converter (which does not have all the bells and whistles like LR, but does produce high quality results through a simple workflow). Eventually, I started using LR 4.2 to further simplify the workflow without compromising quality, and I believe I succeeded with that. I put most of my efforts in the work in the field. After all, the joy in what we do IS what makes it worthwhile and meaningful.

    Best Wishes
    Seung Kye

  32. Thank you for reappearing out of the snows of Northern Europe to clarify about Lightroom and Photoshop. Interesting that you have never used Photoshop much. Just shows that great photography can be made without it. I’ll have to try resizing with Lightroom if I ever get a chance to learn the program just a bit. Best wishes for 2013 to you too Seung Kye.

  33. Earl says:

    What a wonderful set of photos, David. If forced to pick I’d have to say two of my favorites were: “Oaks, Grizzly Ridge, Fall, Northern Sierra Nevada” and “Indian Creek And Forest From Above, Fall Snow, Northern Sierra Nevada” at least in part because of the snow. I personally wish we experienced a bit more of it here during the winter.

    I certainly hope this year you’ll continue to indulge in personal photography…it would be a shame not to capture such images as this through your own excellant viewpoint.

  34. Hi Earl, your reassurance of the value of my photographic perspective could not have come at a better time. It’s validity has been severely tested lately. Thank you for sharing your favorites here as well. I too love the snow, but this year we’ve had some cold temperatures to go with the snow that are not as much fun and much more difficult to photograph in. I went out photographing this morning in 10 degree weather and thought for sure I would find I had frost bite when I returned to the house.

  35. I seriously enjoy watching YOUR work progress, David. You are really getting good. Obviously the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

  36. Hi Derrick, thanks for the praise. I’m trying to keep up with guys like you. I guess we all improve with the experience of making lots of images.

  37. Russ Bishop says:

    Very nice collection David and Happy New Year!

    I’m glad you’ve found your visual voice and look forward to seeing the evolution in the days ahead. It must be both rewarding and challenging to work with your father’s images while developing your own style, but clearly the journey is underway!

    Duncan Cove and Grizzly Ridge are the two images that resonate the most with me.

  38. Happy New Year to you Russ. That is an interesting point about the challenge of curating my father’s photography and developing my own art. I have conflicts over how much time to spend on each, but never have had any creative conflicts or confusion between my style and his. I find looking at his photographs inspirational and literally uplifting, even to the point of getting a kind of high or spiritual buzz whenever I do it for any length of time. I learn a great deal about composition and technique from his work. However, even when I use elements that he did, my work doesn’t ever seem to come out like his, at least in my view. People on rare occasions say certain images look similar or that our styles are similar sometimes, but much more often people say we have very different styles and this has always been the case. I have always been creatively distinct from my father. Usually people are not looking very closely when they say there are similarities. I still see myself as new and therefore still borrow ideas from him, but I also go in the opposite direction he did in a number of ways. He had a very open, spread out composition approach, always putting a lot of space around everything. Whereas i tend to crop much tighter, zoom in more, isolate elements more. I also cut out whatever doesn’t look pretty whereas he often purposely included ugly twigs, brown spots or any other natural vicissitudes of nature. I certainly shy away from postcards, as he did, but I am much more likely to make crowd pleasing images than he was. He was interested in showing all sides of nature, not just the most beautiful, or what people would want to put up in their living room. There are many other differences as well, particularly in subject matter. I photograph across many genres and he narrowed his focus primarily to landscapes. The only reason more of my images are of nature currently is that’s what I am surrounded by. Eventually as I develop and photograph more intentionally what I intend to photograph rather than just grabbing whatever I run across while doing other activities, nature photography will probably be the lesser part of my portfolio.

  39. H William says:

    You have the D90 and I acquired a D60 a few weeks ago after spending 8 or so years shooting digital with various good point and shoot cameras. We have the same lenses and I tend to shoot more with the 18-55 than the 55-200. However I do like what i call “Intimate Landscapes” where only a portion of the landscape scene is in the image and the 55-200 is great for that. I have also noticed some better quality in my images with the D60 over the Panasonic Lumix FZ35. The Fence and Tree photo in both black and white and color were shot with the Nikon as were the “The Three Amigos” and “Thank You Kitten”. Thanks for sharing your journey. I think it must be somewhat difficult to be the son of one of great landscape photographers. But always remember we are who we are. We are not in competition with anyone. We each have a unique view. Wishing you the best success possible not only in promoting your dad’s work, but in developing and promoting your own unique style. You have 12 great images here….Congratulations!

  40. Hi Bill, thanks for your comment. The Nikon D90 and D60 are good cameras, not the best, but certainly capable of making excellent images in the right hands. Based on what you’ve done with point and shoot cameras, I’m sure you will be very pleased with what you accomplish with the Nikon. Didn’t hurt that you had the film era experience too. I appreciate your support and understanding regarding the road in search of my own photography.

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