At the end of every year, I always enjoy going through my photos and picking some of my favorites. It’s a fun exercise. And I inevitably end up finding some photos that I may not have thought much of at the time, but I really like now. Or sometimes, photos that I just plain missed on the first pass through. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to try it. I think you’ll really enjoy the process.
A New Online Gallery
I realize a blog isn’t the best place for photos. So I have a gallery (hosted on Slickpic) where you can view them, as well as all of their settings if you’d like (click the little i icon in the top right and look for “photo details”). Plus, I shared a bunch of other photos that didn’t make the blog in there too.
Also, Slickpic has given me a link to share in case you want to use them for your portfolio. It’s a lifetime 40% off discount on their most popular plan (and they’ll even design it for you). Click here for more info.
No Landscapes?… Really!… None!
This may be the first year that I didn’t take one landscape photo. Not one! Can you believe it? It’s so weird for me to say that. But I looked through my Lightroom library and in the “Filter” area you can see what lenses you’ve used. I selected all of my 2021 folders and not one of them had a wide angle lens. Every photo was taken with the zoom lenses I mention below. Crazy huh?
I can’t say that I’m doing it on purpose. I know the current times have kept many people at home and I totally understand that decision or requirement for some. But for me, I’ll travel where ever at this point, so I can’t blame anything for me not taking landscape photos, other than I simply haven’t had the desire.
Plus, I live within 1-2 hours of world famous amazing bird photography locations. I’ve always loved living in Florida for many reasons. But as a landscape photographer it meant I had to travel a lot. Now living here is paying off big time in my photography 🙂
But in general I don’t travel like I used to back in my Kelby-employment days so getting to landscape locations means I need to go out of my way. And that’s okay… I’m home much more. And while I really enjoy photography, I love running my training and educational online business and that keeps me busy 110% of the time. All in all, I’m a much happier person than I was back in the early 2010’s when I was chasing the next photo all of the time and trying to compete with everyone around me.
The Gear and Settings
Most photos were taken with the following equipment, so I’m not going to mention it for each shot. I’m a Sony Artisan of Imagery (it’s Sony’s ambassador program), so I use all Sony equipment (I have since 2014). You can always see more on my Gear page as well.
Camera Bodies: Almost all photos were taken with my Sony Alpha 1 which arrived in late February 2021. It is by far the most amazing wildlife camera I’ve ever held in my hands. I feel like I’m cheating and have a smile on my face every time I use it.
Lenses: The Sony 200-600mm is what was on my camera 75% of the time. I also shot with the Sony 100-400mm and 600mm prime at times.
While I shoot mostly hand held, I do use a monopod at times with a FlexShooter Pro gimbal-like ballhead. I love it when I use it but again, I do shoot handheld at least 90% of the time.
All photos were edited in Lightroom, and some in Photoshop where needed. Just about every bird photo you see also makes a quick visit to Topaz DeNoise if the ISO was high. If not, I generally run them through Topaz Sharpen AI. But that’s a very small percentage of them so just assume that each was edited in Lightroom / Photoshop and had DeNoise applied to it.
Okay, here goes. Here’s my favorite photos of 2021. Captions and descriptions are BELOW each photo if you’d like to read more.
Also, I realize a blog isn’t the best place for photos. So I have a gallery (hosted on Slickpic) where you can view them, as well as all of their settings if you’d like (click the little “i” icon in the top right and look for “photo details”). Here’s the link for the gallery. Plus, I shared a bunch of other photos, that didn’t make the this blog post, in there too.
I love teaching and photography... In that order. I feel that enjoying photography, and photo editing can get WAY too complicated. So my personal mission (and favorite thing to do), is to create education that simplifies the process of taking great photos, and how to edit them to get the results you’ve always wanted.