2013 – Ten shots that I love

Editing is crucial for me and I often put myself through the process of narrowing my shots to find the ones that really work – my blog helps with that. I take about 10,000 photos every year. I shared about a thousand with you in 2013.  As the old year closes, I thought I would take a minute to post the shots that stood out for me.

10. Orange Stairs Orange Stairs

I shot this in an architectural salvage store in Chicago. The color captivated me. It was a great day of shooting and shopping, but this is my favorite shot of my time in the Windy City.

9. One Way20130513-163959.jpgI actually shot this on my last evening in Chicago. I used my fast 50 and it let me get lots of detail even late at night. This year I challenged myself to try things to find the limits of my equipment.

8. The Friendly Yearling20130324-103214.jpgThis is probably not one of my better photos, but it was an amazing moment for me. As I looked at this young buck looking back at me I realized he was the friendly fawn I had met the year before. I was Freshly Pressed for that post, and while that was great, the moment I recognized him was something I will never forget.

7. The Fly In20130119-111408.jpgThis was one of those shots I didn’t know I captured until I reviewed the shots. I thought there was no shot with the chickadee flying in – but it is one that I just love. This shot is one that encouraged me to keep shooting even when the scene looks pretty boring. After all, if I had decided to put my camera away because all I saw was a couple of finches eating, I would have missed this shot.

6. A Frosty Windshield

The payoff, sunrise out my driver's side window.

I took this shot waiting for my jeep to warm up one morning. I was so glad to have my macro lens with me. Macro shooting makes you look deeper into an unexplored world.

5. The Dancing Elk


I love shooting the elk during the rut, but this day was magical. The ground was frosty and there was a full on bull-fight. This bull was the victor and danced his way across the valley letting everyone know.

4. Stop Action Hummer


After trying every shutter speed and lighting combination to try to capture a shot of a hummer in flight I decided to try a flash. This was taken right before sunset and I was running out of light – the flash was a gamble, but it worked so well that I began to use it in the daylight to stop action.

3. Tilt Shift Ben

This is my friend Ben. He lives across the road from me and sometimes visits with me while I get my mail. I never noticed how close in color he is to the road before. I shot him as he moved towards me and lucked out on the focus.

This is an experimental shot I took with a tilt shift set up. It was manually focused right after sunset. I was pleased with how it turned out, but this really feels like Ben to me – he is a neighbor dog that drops by to make sure I make it home OK.

2. The Swimming Dog


This shot of my brother’s dog in the swimming pool took a grand champion ribbon at the county fair – but even if no one appreciated the technical process of stopping the action, I love how that spit second of bliss shows in her expression. The color of the pool in the sunlight made for a great setting.

1. The Blue Jay

Eat and glare

This is my favorite photo I took this year – the attitude of the blue jay, the color of the bokeh, the late afternoon lighting. The funny thing is that I was trying to stop action and this guy just stopped to pose for me.

I’ll admit it, as soon as I got to 10, I wished I had made a top 20 list. Are there any you think should have made the cut? What did you post in 2013 that you are especially happy with? Happy New Year!

Shutterbug Notes:

If I could offer any advice, it would be to try new things. Your camera is capable of so much more than you imagine. Shoot the shots you want in Auto and then try the other modes. Push the ISO. Try that lens that is sitting around gathering dust. You’ll be a better photographer. 8 of these 10 shots would not have happened if I had stayed in my comfort zone. 

65 thoughts on “2013 – Ten shots that I love

  1. Pingback: Superbes photos | Loin de zanzibar

  2. Good job with all of these! I don’t think anyone would complain if you amended your Top 10 list to 20!! Lol. I think my favorites are the Elk dancing, the Chickadee’s approach (I love those little things, we have a lot up here in Illinois/Michigan), the Hummingbird (I would love to champion stop action; I have a million pictures of hummingbirds from a trip I took to Ecuador some years back and gosh, if I could have known stop action then, woo…), and both the dog pics. Your brother’s dog in the pool is definitely a stunning shot and it looks so cute! Ben’s photo is very philosophical feeling, well done. I think it’s great that you seem to have capture their personalities. I recently used my dog as a subject for the first of my Project 365 pics; they make great subjects when they’re willing to cooperate! Oh and I almost forgot I really like the Blue jay as well, it has so much attitude! He looks like he’s thinking, “What, what do you want? Go ahead, take the picture, I’m getting hungry.”

    Best of luck to you in 2014 and being blessed with the ability to capture more great photos!


    • Thank you so much – I love chickies – one flew into my house recently and it was really pretty cool. I may do a post about it soon. I love shooting dogs and most will cooperate – I have one that hates the camera. She just turns and walks away. I shot my first hummers in Costa Rica, it was like shooting fish in a barrel and I never imagined I could do it at home – but they are the best challenge. My hope is that I capture all of their personalities – because they are all such characters. I love when they connect with me – those are my favorite shots.

      • Yes, my dog is the turn and walk away kind! Perhaps I said that already. 😉

        That would be awesome to capture the personalities of Hummingbirds!!! I wish I had known better technique when I was in Ecuador but I am so grateful to have even gone and for the camera I was lucky to have (at the time Panasonic Lumix which I thought was awesome!).

        It’s amazing how many different species they have in the warmer climates. The study I was volunteering on was actually to study how their populations were affected by the areas growing tourism. I would love to see more of them if you one day post your CR shots. Perhaps when my proper computer is happier I’ll dig some of mine up although they’ll be pretty amateur.


        • I’ve posted a lot of hummers over the last two summers and they have definite personalities. I love to watch them guard their feeders and buzz my window when they run out of food. I went through 15 pounds of sugar last summer. They are a wonder to watch and a challenge to shoot. I bet I had as many as 20 nesting and feeding here.

          • Wow! So they buzz by your window then to let you know they’re out of food? That’s very cool. I didn’t know I had them in this particular area (I know they’re around period, but hadn’t seen any in my yard) until this past summer I saw a female a number of times. I wound up buying some of the pre-mixed solution and filled a feeder I had bought some time ago. But that didn’t seem too effective as I’m pretty sure I got more bees and wasps than anything!

            That’s really incredible that you had so many around! And nesting? Were you able to locate some of their nests then?


          • They are quite assertive – I have found that they feed on the sugar water better than the premix. Bees can be an issue, but I have found that the hummers chase them off. I have found a few nests over the years, I leave them in place unless they fall out of the tree – they come back to the same nests year after year. I found one last spring on the ground that would fit in the palm of your hand – the inside was about the diameter of a quarter, very delicately built.

          • Gosh, that’s cool. Thanks for telling me yours prefer the sugar mix, I have another feeder I think this year maybe I’ll try both and see what happens!

    • Hello Kathleen – it was a cold one, wasn’t it! I am so glad to have some warmer weather, I didn’t move south to live in an arctic zone 🙂 Happy New Year to you too!

    • Thanks Lyle! and thanks for the encouragement and insight over the course of the year. I was reluctant to push that ISO before I heard from you. Your work is stunning, so I knew it could work. Journey on!

  3. I love all your photos Lorri, so it’s impossible to say a favorite. I love your comments with each shot when you post too. You have a wonderfully whimsy sense of humor that I love. May this year bring you much more to shoot and love. 🙂

  4. Great photos, Lorri. I like the frosty windshield—looks like feathers and the background colors are outstanding.

    Happy New Year,

  5. Beautiful pictures! I love the first one — I love abstract art and the color and shapes on the first one is canvas-worthy. The windshield one is one that struck me and any dog picture, well is awesome. Your blue bird does have attitude and that’s a very good thing. Happy New Year!

    • Thanks so much Bridgett. The color of those stairs is what intrigued me. The store owner must have thought I was a nut, shooting down through the stair treads 🙂 Happy new year to you too!!

  6. I cannot chooses a fave from these shots. Each one has exceptional qualities as do all of the pics that make the cut here. Yours is my most favorite blog. With every post I find something that enriches my life. My very best wishes 2014 will be another picture perfect year for you.

    • Thanks Steph. Your blog is my fav too. If it would just stay above freezing for a few hours I would get out and take some photos. Keep ranting and inspiring, my friend. Happy new year!!

  7. I love your favorite photos of 2013 but really can’t decide which one of these ten to come first or which one in the 2nd/3rd (and so on) place. ^^
    Lorri, I hope you have a very Happy New Year! Have a great 2014 with good health and prosperity. Best of luck for all your plans and ideas!
    Can’t wait for your new blog entries (stories and pictures)!

  8. They are all wonderful IMO! I do love 7 for its mystery of not knowing you got a great shot till later aspect. I love that, as its rare. Call me crazy, didn’t you have a peacock living near you? I can’t search your blog at the moment…
    Happy new year! !🕛🍻🎉

  9. Oh how I do love your pictures. They are all so very good — and your subjects vary so much it’s like opening a present each time I open your blog. I’m never sure what I’m going to get (no matter how much I shake that package!).

    Of these, I love the one of your brother’s dog swimming. She looks so much like my Cooper did, that it brought a tear and a smile. That happy, happy face. I miss it, but got to see it this morning.

    If I were to pick a series of your photos, it would be hard to decide between your wonderful hummingbird shots and the elk ones. Especially the dancing elk here.

    Happy New Year to you, Lorre! I’m so glad to have you as a blogging buddy!

    • Thank you Elyse! Don’t shake your computer 🙂

      There’s something about a happy dog – and Cammie loves that pool. Have you gotten a new pup yet? I’ve been offline mostly since before the holidays so I am in catch up mode. They add so much to our lives. I have never been able to part with my buddy Ralph’s collar, he was my first Jack and the best dog I ever owned. He was my pal for 14 years, and I still miss that little guy.

      I’m glad to have you as a blogging buddy too – here’s to more in 2014!!

      • We haven’t gotten one yet. I am in FULL WHINING MODE. My husband, who works at home and who will have do do a whole lot of the training is fighting me on this. He wants to wait

        I will win. Nobody likes a wife who whines. I just promised to be solely in charge of poop patrol. I am desperate.

        But I will win.

        • LOL – well of you have taken on the poop patrol then there’s nothing to worry about. I spent the holidays with my brother and he has 5 dogs, 3 cats, 2 goats, and a giant turtle at his house. Makes my pack seem so small. You need a pup in your life again. I’m hoping the whining proves quick and effective.

          • Thanks!

            I was explaining our conversation to John last night. We started talking about various breeds. He wouldn’t even go that far before! It’s a start, anyway. (Of course, I’d rather just go to the pound, but I accept that John wants to “Know what he’s getting” which is absurd. You never know what you’re getting no matter what!)

          • I have adopted mostly through breed rescues. One advantage of a pedigree is the socialization. If a dog stays with it’s litter 8 weeks it makes a huge difference. Of course that only works if the breeder is reputable. All of my dogs are purebred except for Sunshine and he was recused from a breeder who had passed away. My Ralph was rescued from a JRT rescue. I was his third home in 6 weeks. I was just determined to find the great dog inside him. Those other families gave up because he misbehaved – I lucked out.
            I’m glad you guys are talking about it. There are lots of options.

  10. While they are all great shots, number 7 has to be my favourite. I don’t remember seeing that one before, but with my poor memory, I could have just forgotten. I agree with you about the fawn shot – very special indeed.

    Today, I received a phone call from the camera store to say my backordered ring flash for my macro lens has just arrived, so can’t wait to try out my new toy. It was my Christmas present to myself.

    Hope you have a very Happy New Year and 2014 is filled with Good Health, Prosperity and ……of course, lots of Great Photos.

    • Thanks Vicki. That shot was from late winter last year. Those finches only eat thistle in the spring and summer, by winter they eat anything and they encroached on the bigger birds’ feeders.

      I have always wanted a macro ring, I have a pair of flex lights that attach to my hot shoe, and it works well, but it’s hard to get the light even. I look forward to seeing your results.

      Happy new year to you as well, here’s to lots of great weather and wildlife and photo ops in 2014!

      • Thanks Lorrie.

        I was going into the city to pic up that macro ring light, but thankfully rang first – turns out it’s next week that it comes into stock.

        I bought the A$149.95 LED ring light, not the $600 thing. Can’t justify spending $600 as I haven’t been doing much macro work. I’ll be sure to do a post about my initial attempts and provide some sample pics.

  11. All are great captures! I really like the hummingbird shot. I have yet to catch one in flight. Hope you have a Happy New Year and a great 2014! Can’t wait to see what you capture in the next 365 days.

    • Thank you! I have caught them in flight on shutter mode, but never with such detail. The flash really made a big difference. Thanks for following and I look forward to your shots as well!!

  12. Wow, especially love One Way and Stop Action Hummer. Beautiful pictures!
    I’m an absolute novice when it comes to taking shots but I have the good fortune of having a girlfriend with an EOS 5D II. I feel like I’ve been taking some fairly nice photos with it. I think you’ve inspired me to try moving away from the safety net of “auto”!

    • Thank you! You know a great camera certainly gives a technical edge, but when the camera makes all the decisions in auto it sticks with the middle ground. It will almost never stop action because it is set to eliminate noise. Newer cameras like the one your shooting can handle higher ISO settings without adding any noticeable noise. It’s not a bad idea to look at the info that your camera selects on an auto shot and use them as a starting point in another mode. Good luck and keep shooting!!

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