The year of plenty, the year of change - an end of the year review pt.1: The States

First off, pardon the long tite. As we all know, the end of 2013 is approaching. A year ago from around this time, many believed that the world was going to end; regardless, I kept shooting photos just because. Hundreds of days have come and go, and we have yet to perish, which means it’s time for a year-end review! At the start of 2013, I started to take photography much more seriously, and purchased adobe Lightroom – this purchase opened the floodgates to many hours of reading on LR editing. Coincidentally, I created my first B&W look at the start of the year after doing some landscapes in Ohio. Below are the works I did over the years, selected for one or other reasons – whether it’s due to its novelty, quality, or merely due to the fun involved - ordered chronologically. 1. Into Chicago (Original post here)

L9995579 At the start of the year, I had purchased (and later returned) a Leica M9. I took it to Chicago on a trip to visit my cousin, and ended up falling in love with it. The size, the weight, the feel, and oh my God the picture quality - I loved it all. I took "Into Chicago" in the O'Hare airport, despite the looks of the tens of people passing by. This picture will always remind me of the astonishment I had when I first edited all the pictures I obtained from the Leica M9.

2. "Faces of a sister" (Original post here) _MG_1970 _MG_1968 While I was in Ohio, I visited my sister in Cleveland quite some times. Almost in all the occasions, she'd ask me to snap a picture. This one was taken a little before she was married, and was the first time I ever did a 'posed shot'. The pic ended as some of my better portraits.

3. "Handwriting Analysis" (Original post here) IMG_9498 "Handwriting Analysis" ended up in my portfolio, and became one of the paving stones for my interest in street photography/photojournalism. With the help of a friend, I developed a preset that until this point I still sometimes use as a starting point, along with a split toning color that seemed to work for everything Californian.

4. "I do" (Original post here) _MG_2259 A couple of weeks after the "Faces of a sister" picture, my sister finally got married. Her marriage alone should grant this picture in this list. I, however, loved the pic due to the framing and the moment; both of them captured something I always look for in my photography - a split second of a once in a lifetime moment. I also liked the photojournalism look of the framing, along with the tinted monochrome look (the "golden monochrome" preset I developed at the start of the year)

5. "The thousand yard" (Original post here) _MG_3035 I had been looking for a collaborator upon which I can practice my photography. After much talk, I ended up working with a talented, movie major student of OSU; Mike. Mike was working on a final project on the OSU football team, and was wondering if I wanted to include my photo in his project - to which I replied wholeheartedly: Yes. Not exactly a big fan of football, nor an athlete myself, I lacked the many skills a football photographer requires. That said, I could definitely capture the timeless moment - this was perhaps one of them.

6. "Two Good Reads" (Original post here) _MG_4387 There could be many reasons why I love this picture; it being my sis' prewed picture, the framing, the oddity, the planning, the mere fun of the day, the surprisingly good end result - the list goes on and on. In the end, I loved the pic because It's just a good one. I developed the idea along with a good friend of mine, scouted for places to shoot, and spent half a day frantically shooting the whole set with my sister, her husband, and another friend of mine. It was totally worth it.

7. "Columbus Theatre" (Original post here) _MG_4683 Columbus theatre was beautiful - nuff said. To do continue, it was the graduation day of three close friends of mine - all of which were of art major (one of them later converted to nursing - good for him, either way). I loved the architecture inside the theatre, the color, the drama, and fell in love with my own 17-40 f/4 after taking this picture. The reason might be circumstantial yet again, but I still love this picture for the composition.

8. "The fishermen of Matador Beach" (Original post here) _MG_1722 Another picture that found its way into my portfolio. I loved this picture when I took it, and still do now. I have had an ND filter, but haven't used it very often - this picture was the first usage which I truly love. Granted, technically it is highly flawed - spots everywhere, mostly from the seawater splashing into the filter, and there are some glares from the sides. That said, I loved the composition, the context, and the lines. I truly believe this picture earned its place in this list.

9. "Stars and Stripes" (Original post here) _MG_3171 Something about this picture hit my nerve in every right kinds of way. Among many photographers that I bow my head and heart upon, Eliot Erwitt is among them. Is it the stare? the flag? his stance? or many other things currently brewing in my head? Perhaps it's all of them. This picture also happens to be among the last one I took in the States, making it a little more special.

So there you go. The first 9 of the end-of-year-review list which spanned from January to July 2013. The second half of the year took me to my home country, Indonesia, and I have decided to create another list for that. Keep your eyes peeled open for Pt.2 of the list!

Cheers~