In 2016, I took over 22,000 photos in six countries, 15 states, more than 30 cities, at least a dozen state and national parks, on mountains as high as 2,500 meters, at 20 meters under the sea, and at more gardens than I can count.
On average, I shared about 5 new photos a week except for a one season break that I took to reset. During this break, I changed my priority from taking photos to sharing photos. I’ve been on a photo taking diet, focusing on editing photos I’ve already taken. I’m left wondering why I didn’t share some of the photos that I didn’t think were good enough in the past. And seeing old photos that I don’t remember taking makes me realize that I should slow down and take in what I’m seeing not only through the camera but through my eyes as well.
For the time being, I’m traveling with a Canon 6D, one macro lens and a Fujifilm X100T because I have a little less anxiety when I don’t have to lug my Pelican case around. Sometimes, I’ll see a sandpiper or plover and regret it, but I’m content with being just a birder for a while. I bought the X100T a few months ago, and I haven’t warmed up to it yet. But that’s probably because we need a little bit more time to get acquainted.
At the beginning of the year, I knew very little about flowers and even less about birds, but I’ve managed to become a birder and flowerer (or whatever you call someone who tries to find new flowers). Sometimes, I spend hours trying to identify the type of bird or flower in my photos, and sometimes I can’t. If you see a flower in my photos that isn’t identified, I wouldn’t mind the help.
I’ve read that in order to improve as a photographer, I should focus on one style of photography, maybe landscapes, macro, bird or wildlife photography, but I can’t seem to pick one. I’ve learned that my favorite part of photography is that it allows me to see and discover, so I’ve decided to just call myself a discovery photographer. If I never pick a niche, that’s okay. It’s always about the exploration.
Here are my 12 favorite photos from 2016: