December 20, 2013

2013 Year in Review

It’s that time of year again — time to recap my year in photography. Thinking back on 2013, it didn’t seem like I did a lot of shooting. But actually LOOKING back through my archives, I realized I did a lot of shooting! But in concentrated time-boxes. Still, it was a difficult task to boil my year down to 13 images (because I couldn’t boil it down to 12). Anyway, here they are.

Winter Warming

This is my first favorite image of the year. It was shot just a couple of miles from my house on a warm winter day. The mist rising off of the river and the symmetry of the scene did it for me.

The Keys

The mills of Lawrence are still some of my favorite subjects, so it would be difficult not to include at least one mill shot in my year end review. This one is from the office in the Stone Mill. God only knows why the keys are there, but they are. I challenge all who participate in Historic Mills Photography Workshops to find and shoot these keys!


You’ll notice more black and white images than color/HDR images this year. I’ve been leaning that way. I’ve also been doing more long exposure work (though I don’t do it enough!). Here is one of my favorite long exposure shots — from Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

Miniature Fenway

I’m marathon runner. I’ve run the Boston Marathon 15 times and about 20 other marathons. It is my other passion. This year I didn’t run Boston, but I did shoot the race from a helicopter for the Boston Athletic Association. I’m also a Red Sox fan. On the helicopter shoot, we did a couple of passes over Boston so I was able to grab this shot of downtown Boston and Fenway Park. A little T/S effect to highlight Fenway and the Citgo sign!

Boston Strong

After the helicopter landed I made my way into Boston to watch some friends finish the marathon. Of course I kept shooting as I made my way to the finish line. This was shot in the finisher’s chute — a simple candid portrait of one of the thousands of runners who finished the Boston Marathon, taken about an hour before the bombs went off. And yes, I was on Boylston Street near the finish line when all hell broke loose. Looking back on the day as both a runner and a spectator, this is the moment I chose to commemorate the day. If I were to point to my most favorite image for the year, this would be it —  Boston Strong.  Boston Proud.


April into May brought a fantastic trip with some fantastic photographers and friends. I ventured out to Moab, UT for the second NXNW Photo Blogger Jamboree with Justin Balog, Rick Louis, Chris Nitz, Dave Wilson, Mark Garbowski and Michael Criswell. Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point and this … the ghost town of Cisco, Utah. I could have picked a dozen images from this trip, but I whittled it down to three, this one, Delicate Arch and Mesa Arch.

Delicate Arch

 A textured treatment of Delicate Arch. We were there through sunset and even did some light painting after dark. We got lots of great stuff.  

Mesa Arch

An early morning jolt of Folger’s Coffee got us up and ready to take on Mesa Arch, a ‘must-shoot’ icon of Moab. The classic shot is the sun breaking the horizon beneath the arch — which I got, with full sun burst. But I thought this monochrome shot taken a few minutes after sunrise fit me better for the recap.

Thom and Jess

My son, Thomas and his fiancé, Jessica. I agreed to do their engagement shoot just to save them money.  Really. I that’s the reason. And I enjoyed it. Really. This is my favorite shot. It was unplanned, un-staged. I turned with the camera, they smiled. Done.

The Blaksmith

I could have included the entire set from this shoot — a 19th century blacksmith shop, come to life. This is Richard Wright, a blacksmith by trade and an educator on the fine craft.

The Boxing Gym

Shot in the Pacific Mill in Lawrence. A wonderful, big old mill. It won’t always be this way. Glad to get the chance to shoot it.

Wannalanct Mill Spiral

My friend and Historic Mills partner, Steven Perlmutter did some leg work and got access to the Wannalancit Mill in Lowell, MA. This gorgeous staircase was so much fun to shoot.

The Clock Keeper

Of all the historic buildings I’ve shot in Lawrence, the Ayer Mill Clock Tower is my favorite. On my first visit there, my guide was Charlie Waites, the man who helped restore the clock and who continues to maintain it. In fact, Charlie would be the only person to guide anybody through the clock tower. So I was honored when Charlie asked me to photograph him in the tower.

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  1. An excellent set of images, great work. Winter Warming is possibly my favourite one here. I look forward to seeing continued great work in 2014.

  2. What an amazing year, buddy! Looking forward to seeing more of your work in 2014!

  3. Fantastic summary of your photography this year. It’s been a pleasure shooting with you and running our workshops together. Here’s to more of the same in 2014.

  4. Fabulous collection, Bob. I’m jealous of your original and excellent Delicate Arch shot and give you special kudos for The Clock Keeper and having the taste to include the same monochrome Mesa Arch shot as I have in my 2013 “Best of” collection.

    BTW, as “finder of the Stone Mill keys”, I should share the results of my extensive research into what the heck they are for. Despite many conspiracy theories, the best explanation anyone has yet come up with is that someone in the office needed to connect that screw-thingy to the floor and the holes in it were too large for the nails he or she had. Not being bothered to wander off to Home Depot, however, they grabbed a couple of old keys and used them as washers instead.

    Personally, I prefer the conspiracy theories.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Dave! Glad we got to shoot together in Moab. I’m very much looking forward to Acadia next Fall!

      And I prefer to believe the keys on the floor are the keys to a secret dungeon where the Mill Gremlins are kept. You DO NOT want to free them!