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At the end of 2015, I posted about my aspirations to get more serious about photography, along with my very best photos of the year. Looking back on those photos has inspired me to keep trying — to learn new techniques, step outside my comfort zone, and most importantly, to keep practicing!
In 2016, I shot with three different cameras, a simple, older point and shoot – the Nikon P510, which was great for hiking, paddling, and other rugged adventures. A Canon Rebel T6i, which I borrowed for some landscape and macro work, was really fun to play around with. And finally, I tried out a Sony Alpha A600 because I’ve heard lots of talk about how awesome it is. I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t, so now I’m actually without a camera, and looking toward a new Nikon DSLR. Can’t wait! I also invested in Adobe Lightroom in 2016, and spent more hours than I want to think about learning how to do some photo editing.
Luckily, 2016 also provided ample opportunity for getting outside with my camera, which is the best photography inspiration in the world (for me). My goals for 2016 weren’t too lofty — I wanted to work on birds in flight, night shots, and moving water. What did I learn? Birds move really fast and night photography is darn near impossible (if you’re me). I made some headway with the moving water, though, and I’m sticking with the same goals for 2017, just to keep things doable.
Here’s a little look at our year, with my favorite photographs from 2016:
Winter Photography Inspiration
After the craziness of the holidays, we usually spend the rest of the winter close to home. We did a lot of skiing and snowshoeing, escaping to either Woodford State Park or Lake Shaftsbury State Park at least once a week. We also said goodbye to Ogden, the German shepherd puppy we raised for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. It’s always bittersweet to say goodbye, but these puppies have bigger plans!
Spring Photography Inspiration
March is the time when things start to wake up in Vermont. It’s maple sugaring season, which also coincides with mud season. In March, we were reunited with one of our guide dog pups, Nacho. Nacho’s partner, Kathy came to visit us in Vermont, and we loved every minute of their stay. Look at our handsome pup — all grown up!
We took our big trip for the year in April — Arizona! We explored the Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu City, a touristy ghost town, and Las Vegas. It was awesome escaping Vermont during the cold, wet spring, although Eric was still on crutches. We also escaped to a little cabin in northern Vermont, courtesy of Hipcamp.
Summer Photography Inspiration
I spent the whole summer working with Vermont State Parks as a photographer and writer. I visited 22 parks and spent countless nights under the stars. The highlights — waterfalls, sunsets, a moose, and lots of hikes and paddles. Oh, and we also started raising another guide dog — Dolly. She’s a black lab, and the first female we’ve raised. We had her all through the summer and then sent her on to another raiser to finish up her training.
Autumn Photography Inspiration
I almost always stay close to home during fall foliage season, and I was up with the sun every single day, exploring the magical back roads of Vermont. October totally inspires me, and I wrote a little photography guide to southern Vermont because, holy moly, if you haven’t visited Vermont in the fall, you really should! Another big event this fall? We brought home our 7th guide dog puppy, Ogden’s son, Flash. Flash will be with us for at least a year, and we’re totally smitten with him!
Now we’re back to winter, and I’m doing a little hibernating before a big trip out west in a few weeks. Looking back on the year, I can see that I have indeed grown a bit as a photographer. It’s been slow going, but I’m going to keep at it.
My biggest inspiration has really just been to get outside with my camera. No excuses. Another thing that has really helped me as been connecting with other bloggers and creative people. In fact, I’m linking this post up with some blogging friends, who have also written posts about inspiration in the New Year. Please pop over for a visit! Introducing:
Danielle of the Adventure Dog Blog: The Word is “Inspiration”
Sonja of Montecristo Travels: 5 Places to Look for Inspiration for Pet Travelers
Stacy of Tangled up in Food: Inspiration 2016