December 26, 2012

12 for 12

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, or Hanukkah (or whatever you celebrate) and are geared up for a fantastic New Year.

I look forward to this post every year. It is an opportunity to look back on my work, reflect on where I’ve been (literally and figuratively) and ponder the upcoming year. I actually picked these images earlier this month and posted them on Facebook. So the purpose of this blog post is put some context around the images and give them a permanent home, if you will.

Before I get to the individual images, some notes. These may or may not be my “best” images of the year. They are simply a few of my favorites. I picked them based on the how, why and/or where they were taken. I picked them based on what or who moved or inspired me somewhere in the process, from initial click to post processing. I picked them because of the circumstances that surrounded me. If that makes sense to you, great. If not, maybe it will after you get through this post.

So without further ado, here they are my 12 images for 2012, in sort of chronological order:

Unitarian Memorial Church:

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Heavily influenced by the work of Klauss Herrmann, in April I tried my hand at capturing and processing “vertoramas.” The subject for the shoot was the beautiful Unitarian Memorial Church in Fairhaven, MA. I successfully reached out to the pastor and requested permission to shoot it. This is far from perfect in execution, but between doing the vertorama and the experience of shooting this gorgeous old church makes it a 2012 favorite

Rolling into Austin

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I went on a photographic “walkabout” if you will in the spring — a solo trip to central Nevada that was 8 years in the making. I had wanted to return to the town of Austin, Nevada ever since I visited it briefly back in 2004. This time, with camera kit in tow, I set out to explore the town more thoroughly and hit area ghost towns. The image above of a truck rolling into Austin was picked up by Nevada Magazine.

Stables: Hess Ranch

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Another shot from Nevada. I set out to shoot the Ghost Towns of Ione and Berlin one morning and got sidetracked when I found the abandoned Hess Ranch (Walsh Family Ranch). I spent two hours or so photographing the ranch. When I started posting the images, I was contacted by members of the Walsh Family who helped wrap a story around the images.

Unfinished Business: Ione

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After leaving the Hess Ranch, I moved on to Ione, Nevada. I shot a few exteriors then chose to ignore the “No Trespassing” signs and ventured into a couple of the buildings. There is a fragility to these old buildings, so I was careful not to disrupt anything. Any guilt I had immediately evaporated when I saw this setup in the front room room of one of the houses.


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England couldn’t be further from Nevada. If not in distance, then in topography and culture. Yet only six weeks after returning from Nevada, I found myself in England for 10 days. It was an unplanned vacation, facilitated by my wife’s business trip — six days in the Midlands, and three days in London. It was difficult not to be a tourist, so I went with the flow. In London, I set out to photograph the Iconic landmarks that interested me. I also got a chance to meet, shoot and enjoy a pint with London’s Mark Blundell, a very talented photographer whose work I have admire for a long time.

Beneath Kenilworth

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While in the Midlands, my son Ryan and I had to keep busy while my wife worked. So we dis some research in advance and scoped out castles, castle ruins and other interesting places to shoot. Kenilworth Castle was one of my favorites. A park has been built around the ruins, but there are still plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.

Pacific Mills

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I can’t seem to get enough of the mills, so no “best of” collection seems complete without one or two shots from these beautiful old buildings. I’ve always loved the new live the Mills take on at night.

Utility Cart: Stone Mill

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My friend and gifted photographer, Dave Wilson paid a visit to Boston in September, so I invited him up to Lawrence for a day of Mill shooting. We spend nine hours shooting the same mills I’ve shot dozens of times, but somehow — that day — it all seemed new and fresh. Yes, even this old utility cart took on a new life for me that day.

Boston Waterfront

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Before Dave went home to Austin, we arranged another gathering of about a half dozen photographers, including the very talented Rich Williams, in Boston to shoot at Fan Pier. This was my favorite from that fun night of shooting and socializing.

Steel Case Desk

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I was invited to shoot a new old mill in Andover, Massachusetts in October. It had lots of funky old equipment and a lot of character, but this old desk, sitting between the tall windows stood out as my favorite. It helped tell the story.


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I made my annual trip to DC this year to support the charity I am involved with. Team Chris fields a team of runners at the Marine Corps / 10K each year to honor the memory of CPL Christopher G Scherer, USMC, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007 and to raise money for veteran’s causes. I am usually running, but his year, due to injury, I was on the support crew. I also made time to do some shooting at the National Mall, where I grabbed this shot of Abe.

The Memorial

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This shot makes the annual list of favorites because of the  circumstances around it.

My trip to DC turned into an adventure. The day after the race, Superstorm Sandy started roaring in. With my travel plans in turmoil, I found myself holed up at the hotel. I decided to brave the weather and walk up to the Marine Memorial, about a quarter mile from my hotel). The wind swept rain played made it next to impossible to keep the lens clear of water and the tripod steady for long enough to get a shot. But I persevered and got this shot.

When I (finally) got home and went through the images, I was stunned to find this one. While I was shooting, I didm’t realize how closely the wind blown flag resembled    the original photo of Flag Raising over Iwo Jima, by Joe Rosenthal.

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  1. What a great collection, Bob! The Boston/Lawrence trip was probably the photographic highlight of the year for me and that was in a year that had some other great photographic highlights. Thanks again for your hospitality!

  2. I’m loving everyone’s year end retrospectives. I must confess I nicked your use of a collage of images to head up my retrospective. The Lincoln memorial shot is a stunning take on an often photographed location. Great year, Bob.