2015

It's the end of the year as I know it... by Josh Trudell

January: It must be time for that weekly blog update…

March: It must be time for that monthly blog update…

October: It must be time for that quarterly blog update…

December: It’s time! It’s time! It’s…oh. Oops.

It is indeed already December, and my blog posts have yet again dwindled like the sands of time as the year has progressed. But, it has been a very busy year, filled with a lot of work and one truly spectacular vacation.

When I started picking out my favorite photographs of the year, I had two thoughts – boy, I didn’t shoot that much and girl, these are all going to be Australia photos.

Looking back over my Flickr feed, I see I have 18 albums – so it averaged out to one every six weeks. Even taking out the six from Australia, there was still at least one shoot per month, on average.

Some of them weren’t huge - such as studying the wasp nest that was torn out of a tree in my front yard – but the amount was about what I had hoped for, considering that I spent much of the year in the freelance writing and graphic design arena to save for Australia. And that album count largely doesn’t include shooting to go with stories – also largely written to save for Australia.

2015 was the year of Australia – building up to, going on and the aftermath chewed up the first 10 months of the year. It was a great adventure, and there is very little I would change about it. I shot as much as I could every day, but barely scratched the surface of this amazing place.

I’m going to address that in more depth later (weekly blog updates!), but for now, these are my favorite photos of the year (in no particular order). 

 

1. This was taken during the San Antonio Cattle Drive, held each year in February. Cattle are herded through the downtown streets of the city. This shot was part of the Native American dances  that were held in front of the Alamo.

1. This was taken during the San Antonio Cattle Drive, held each year in February. Cattle are herded through the downtown streets of the city. This shot was part of the Native American dances  that were held in front of the Alamo.

2. As an experiment, I took a couple of gallons of rose petals out to Pedernales Falls State Park to see what I could create. The shots feel like they might be a first draft of an interesting larger project. 

2. As an experiment, I took a couple of gallons of rose petals out to Pedernales Falls State Park to see what I could create. The shots feel like they might be a first draft of an interesting larger project. 

3. This was just after I got some new camera equipment - I was experimenting with a new 300mm f2.8 for the first time. A lens this size is a lot of fun - worth the effort it takes to carry around.  

3. This was just after I got some new camera equipment - I was experimenting with a new 300mm f2.8 for the first time. A lens this size is a lot of fun - worth the effort it takes to carry around.  

4. This is from shooting one of my year's highlights - the 2015 Summer X Games in Austin. This was a great event to shoot - there was always something to point a camera at, and most of it was spectacular. I wrote about that  here . 

4. This is from shooting one of my year's highlights - the 2015 Summer X Games in Austin. This was a great event to shoot - there was always something to point a camera at, and most of it was spectacular. I wrote about that here

6. Skateboarding is one of the big draws at the X Games - this is another shot from that event. I love that the boarder looks like a hawk (Tony Hawk!) in midair. 

6. Skateboarding is one of the big draws at the X Games - this is another shot from that event. I love that the boarder looks like a hawk (Tony Hawk!) in midair. 

5. Part of shooting the X Games included shooting the concerts - including three songs of Metallica's set. After a day of carrying my gear around in the 90+ degree sun, I was exhausted when they started - but I was ready to go do it all again when they finished. Exhilarated barely covers it.

5. Part of shooting the X Games included shooting the concerts - including three songs of Metallica's set. After a day of carrying my gear around in the 90+ degree sun, I was exhausted when they started - but I was ready to go do it all again when they finished. Exhilarated barely covers it.

7. Wedding shooting is extremely hard photography and delightfully easy - often at the same time. I flew up to New Hampshire to shoot a lovely, low-key wedding. Arriving the day before gave me a chance to scope out the scene - including playing with the rings and the blooming apple blossoms. 

7. Wedding shooting is extremely hard photography and delightfully easy - often at the same time. I flew up to New Hampshire to shoot a lovely, low-key wedding. Arriving the day before gave me a chance to scope out the scene - including playing with the rings and the blooming apple blossoms. 

8. One of my 2015 resolutions was to branch out and photograph more people. I've joined a couple of Meetup groups, and I'm working on building a model photography portfolio. This was one of my favorites from a steampunk-themed railroad shoot at the New Braunfels Railroad Musuem - model is Arbnore Haliti. 

8. One of my 2015 resolutions was to branch out and photograph more people. I've joined a couple of Meetup groups, and I'm working on building a model photography portfolio. This was one of my favorites from a steampunk-themed railroad shoot at the New Braunfels Railroad Musuem - model is Arbnore Haliti. 

9. Now we're getting into the Australia pictures. First up is this sunrise over Cape Tribulation - a gorgeous, isolated beach north of Cairns. The most peaceful place I saw all year. 

9. Now we're getting into the Australia pictures. First up is this sunrise over Cape Tribulation - a gorgeous, isolated beach north of Cairns. The most peaceful place I saw all year. 

10. While we in Cape Tribulation, we took a day tour of the forest with an aboriginal guide. These ants are safe to eat - and as we found out, have a very pleasant lime taste. 

10. While we in Cape Tribulation, we took a day tour of the forest with an aboriginal guide. These ants are safe to eat - and as we found out, have a very pleasant lime taste. 

11. I originally shot this on an iPhone, then came back the following night to try and capture it again with my camera. The light and dark - chiaroscuro - makes for great contrast on both sides of the image. 

11. I originally shot this on an iPhone, then came back the following night to try and capture it again with my camera. The light and dark - chiaroscuro - makes for great contrast on both sides of the image. 

12. The best part of the trip for me was scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. I learned to scuba this year for the sole purpose of diving and shooting the reef. It took three or four dives before I became comfortable with my camera underwater - this was a Canon DSLR in a Ikelite case - but by the end, I was feeling more confident. It was an amazing experience - like sitting at the bottom of the world's best fishtank. 

12. The best part of the trip for me was scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef. I learned to scuba this year for the sole purpose of diving and shooting the reef. It took three or four dives before I became comfortable with my camera underwater - this was a Canon DSLR in a Ikelite case - but by the end, I was feeling more confident. It was an amazing experience - like sitting at the bottom of the world's best fishtank. 

13. Our friend the koala - also seen on the cover of my  Australia calendar . This was in Kuranda - something of a tourist trap, but fun to wander through for a day. 

13. Our friend the koala - also seen on the cover of my Australia calendar. This was in Kuranda - something of a tourist trap, but fun to wander through for a day. 

That's it - I hope you enjoyed them, and I'm looking forward to shooting more in 2016!

A year-end five-by-five... by Josh Trudell

Five things I’m looking forward to in 2015:

1) The Trip. Instead of a focused photography trip this year, I’m putting all my time off from the Day Job into one massive journey with the Fabulous SuperWife: Three weeks in Australia – with a soupcon of Hong Kong at the end before we fly home.

This is a trip we’ve been looking forward to for several years – mostly by hoarding our frequent-flyer miles like Scrooge McDuck’s gold vault. But we will officially NOT be flying cattle class on any leg of the trip (he says, knock wood).

The highlights will include most of a week on a scuba cruise at the Great Barrier Reef, a week exploring Sydney and some time in Daintree National Forest.  I can’t wait to see it and shoot it all.

2) Do more model photography. I’m hoping to branch out this year and experiment with some model photography. I’m still ironing out what shape that is going to take, but I’ve got some ideas kicking around. I’m hoping to flesh them out in the first half of 2015.

3) Seeing the new exhibit of my photography (and all the other photographers) at San Antonio City Hall. This will be the first time that I haven’t been hands-on involved with putting up pieces, which is both a relief and makes me slightly anxious about how it will turn out. I should find out in the next week or two.

4) Seeing the Red Sox reboot and rebound next season. I’d still like to see an ace at the top of the rotation – paging Mr. Zimmermann, paging Mr. Jordan Zimmermann, you’re wanted at 4 Yawkey Way – but I always enjoy watching a good offense, and this one looks pretty promising on paper.

5) Watching the Marvel Universe continue to grow and evolve. More Avengers?!? The return/reboot of Daredevil?!? ANT-MAN!?! The golden age of comic-book based media continues to grow and evolve, and it seems to be only getting better.

And there’s the little matter of a certain lightsaber-swinging sequel coming to theaters next December…

 

Five things I liked about 2014:

1) My week in Glacier National Park was fantastic. Seeing and shooting the mountains, rivers and lakes was a great experience with some wonderful people. I can’t recommend James Kay Photography enough for their guidance and help with everything on the trip  - like when my tripod broke on the first afternoon shooting.

I’m already looking forward to going back to Glacier – hopefully this time with better weather.

2) Spending an excellent 40th birthday with my wife and mom at Disney World. Disney wasn’t my first choice – I had some dreams of an African safari, I admit. But being able to spend a week with family – and introducing Mom to the wonders of the Magic Kingdom  - was worth a lot more.

3) Being from New England and now living in Texas, it occasionally strikes me how few of New England’s highlights I saw while growing up there. We checked one of those off the list this past year, though, with a few days at Acadia National Park. I hope it’s not the only time we visit – it’s a place with a lot to offer.

4) Speaking of Maine – meeting Stephen King was a big checkmark on ye olde bucket list. This Constant Reader remains, as ever, a big fan.

5) My circle of connections continued to grow. Thanks to everyone who supported my work this past year, by sharing a story, by liking my Facebook page, by suggesting an idea, or by joining me on Twitter. It was a fun year – here’s to a great 2015.