Which Are Your Favorite Photos?

by | Sep 16, 2022 | Impressive Places, Pic of the Month, Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

I’ve been printing calendars with landscape photos since 2009 . . . and now it’s almost 2023! How would you like to have a say in which photos get put into the 2023 Lenspiration Calendar?!

210602_James Staddon_ Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16 mm, 1-13 sec at f - 11, ISO 50

Each year’s calendar can only have 12 pictures in it. After sorting through last year’s landscape photos, I came away with 26 from that year that I felt were good enough for a calendar. Add these to a database of 40 photos taken in previous years, and you get a total of 66 photos to choose from. I like all of them. Narrowing them down to 12 is quite hard for me. So, I’d love to get your input! I want to know which ones are your favorite!

210615_James Staddon_9261 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 28 mm, 1-25 sec at f - 16, ISO 50

I’ve displayed all 66 photos here in this “survey”. Go in and let me know which ones are your favorite by Tuesday, September 20. I plan to choose which photos to use in the calendar on the following day, Wednesday the 21st.  Looking forward to hearing your perspective!

2023 Calendar survey

As you go through the list of photos, you’ll run across this one. It’s Candidate 6. A peaceful scene I photographed down in Florida last year.

210531_James Staddon_0521 W

Waiting for Morning
Private boardwalk on Tampa Bay, Florida
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I hadn’t been to Florida in probably 10 years, and I had no plans for revisiting any time soon, so I really wanted to make the most of that business trip. It’s hard to get up early and find a beautiful spot to photograph before sunrise in new places. How do you know what will be a good location for sunrise? What if I make the effort, actually find a good spot, and then there isn’t much of a sunrise? Landscape photography is tough when you’re not doing it full time. But I love the challenge! So I made the effort to shoot every sunrise and sunset I could.

On this particular morning I was staying at a hotel. The night before, as my friend and I were walking to/from dinner, I noticed a boardwalk that was built for hotel guests only. It meandered through mangrove forest and there were sections that branched off toward the bay that I figured went to open views. “What an opportunity!” I thought.

My alarm was set for super early. I grabbed my Bible and photography gear and headed out into the cool Florida pre-dawn darkness. The boardwalk offshoots indeed went to open views!

210601_James Staddon_ Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 27 mm, 0.8 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 50

I sat down and read my Bible for a while by the light of the glowing boardwalk lights. Surprisingly, the bugs weren’t nearly as bad as I was expecting! Maybe the bugs aren’t as bad in Florida in May? I wouldn’t know. Smile

Before it got light, I went around and looked for good angles to shoot from. Sadly, the only views around were to the west. No fantastic sunrise spots at this location. But that didn’t keep me from photographing stuff.

210531_James Staddon_ Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16 mm, 1.0 sec at f - 16, ISO 50

Along this one particular stretch of boardwalk there seemed to be a lot of birds. Egrets, herons, and spoonbills sat or waded around looking for breakfast. Just the subjects I needed on this cloudless morning! I positioned myself so that this one set of three birds would be completely set apart from the shore and it’s reflection, and framed up a shot that included a balanced amount of surroundings. I shot my subjects as they moved around into different positions.

First position.

210531_James Staddon_0518 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

Second position.

210531_James Staddon_0519 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35 mm, 1-30 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

They kept moving around. Bingo! Third position. They lined up just right.

210531_James Staddon_0521 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35 mm, 1-30 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

And then they flew away!

210531_James Staddon_0522 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 35 mm, 1-30 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

Not quite the same photo without them, is it?!

All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing: Oh, praise Him! Alleluia! Thou burning sun with golden beam, thou silver moon with softer gleam: Oh, praise Him! Oh, praise Him! Alleluia! –St. Francis of Assisi, translated by William H. Draper

There are a lot of new photos I’ve never displayed before in the list of 2023 Lenspiration Calendar Candidates. Take the “survey” here and let me know which ones are your favorite by Tuesday, September 20!

211016_James Staddon_1912 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-25 sec at f - 5.0, ISO 800

210629_James Staddon_0105 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 16 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 11, ISO 200

210407_James Staddon_4313 Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 105 mm, 1-320 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

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  2. Revealing the Best (and the Worst) from the Calendar Candidate Survey! - Lenspiration - […] in September, via the blog post Which Are Your Favorite Photos?, you voted on which photos should go into…

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