Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - A Retrospective

Wow, I can't believe that another year has passed by.  It seems like just yesterday, I was writing this retrospective of 2010.  I guess time flies when you are having fun.  At any rate, this seems like a good tradition for this blog where I go over what I did last year because it helps me figure out what I'm going to do next year.
 I figured I would start this post in the same way that I started last year's post.  Another shot of my Michigan hat.  This is M-Hat IV as two hats have been claimed by the Detroit River and the other has been retired after serving me well.  This hat has still seen quite a bit this year as I lost the last hat in April.  So lets begin, shall we?
 The beginning of the year found me at the Lions game as I found out that I could bring my camera in the game as long as I didn't bring the monster lens.  The game was the Lions versus the Vikings and the Lions actually won.  It was pretty fun.
 This is the Barton Dam which was one of my two twelve month projects for the year.  This particular shot was taken during a pretty nasty snowstorm.
 This was the only EMU basketball game I went to in this season but not the only game of the year.  I did have fun taking pictures at this game but not as much fun as I would have later in the year.
 Last year found me at quite a few Michigan Hockey games.  I'll have to figure out a game to go to later this season because it is a blast.
 A shot from the Michigan versus Ohio State game.  Michigan won.
 This year found me hitting my 1000th post on the blog.  So to commerate, I took a trip up to Mackinaw City with a friend.  It was fun going up there but not as much fun coming back as we hit a snow storm.
 This year also found me discovering Albert Kahn who was the architect behind many of the famous buildings of Michigan's campus and Detroit.  This particular shot is of Angell Hall on Michigan's campus.
 Just a shot of the Wayne County Building.  This year found me down in Detroit quite a bit as I was taking many pictures of the ships passing on the River.
 A shot of the Ludington Lighthouse.  I didn't spend as much time on the west side of the state as I did the year before.
 A shot of Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  This was a small train trip to prepare me for the bigger train trip that I would be taking later in the year.
 A ship passing by the Tri-Centennial Light in Detroit.  This was my first ship of the year.  For 2012, I'm gonna try to get one earlier in the year, especially since I found a website where I can track their movements.
 2011 found me in Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and a couple other battlefields.  This shot is of the Manor in Fredericksburg.  Union troops where headquartered here during the battle.
 While I was in the area, I visited the Marine Corps Museum and it was pretty neat.  Many of the exhibits are 1-1 scale and you can walk through them and feel like you are almost there.
 I also stopped by the Capital Building in Washington.
 This was a picture from one of a few EMU baseball games I went to.  I was feeling more comforable with my sports photograhy this year.
 A shot of the Colorado Capitol Building in Denver.  This year I took a train trip that went from Ann Arbor to Denver and then continued on to Emeryville.  I caught the rest of the Coast Starlight down to LA and then took the Southwest Chief and Wolverine back to Ann Arbor.
 A shot of Donner Lake while I was on the California Zephyr.  I will have to admit, the West is pretty amazing.
 The San Francisco Bay Bridge.  I didn't spend as much time in San Francisco as I would have liked but I did get to see a little bit of it.
 A picture of the Coast Starlight as I was sitting on the train.
 A shot of Downtown Los Angeles as I was down there while waiting for the next leg of my rail trip.
 A picture of a train as I was riding on the Southwest Chief.  I am definately going to do another train trip in 2012, I'm just not sure where I want to go.
 A shot of the James Barker waiting to go through the Soo Locks.  I think 2012 may find me taking a trip up to Duluth to catch more ship pictures.
 The Scott Fountain on Belle Isle.  This was the first time I'd seen water flowing through it in a while, so I had to catch a picture of it.
 The Blue Angels in Battle Creeek.  I got to see the Blue Angels twice this year and it was pretty cool.
 A Dauntless Dive Bomber at the Willow Run Airshow.  This year the airshow featured planes from the Navy and I was in 7th heaven because of that.
 I took a trip down Jefferson Avenue and caught this picture of the Cason Callaway.  I think 2012 may find me doing Grand River Boulevard.
 I also discovered the J.W. Westcott this year.  I'm hoping that 2012 will find me taking a ride on the Westcott.
 Work took me to California a couple times.  I was able to catch a picture of someone surfing.
 Probably the coolest thing I got to do this year was taking pictures from the sidelines at EMU games.  A person who runs a blog that covers EMU sports asked me if I would be interested in doing the pictures for him and I said sure.  I will have to say that it was pretty rewarding.  This was a picture from the first game I covered where Eastern was playing Howard.
 A shot from the Eastern vs. Alabama State game.
 And this was the game that I was most happy covering.  The person that does the Eastern blog was able to get me a pass to be on the sideline at the Big House.   So I got to cover the spot that many of my heroes covered and it was cool.  Eastern lost this game but I was happy because I got to be on the sideline.  I still can't thank Mr. Adler enough.
 A shot of Whitefish Point Lighthouse.  I didn't spend as much time in the Upper Penninsula as I did in 2010.  Maybe that will change in 2012.  I'm not sure.
 A shot from the Akron game.  I was starting to feel a little more comfortable shooting from the sidelines.
 Then I traveled down to Toledo for the EMU Game there.  EMU got creamed.
 Another trip up to the UP.  The friend I was travelling with had a sunroof, so I was able to get a shot I was wanting to get for a long time.
 Then I traveled to Mt. Pleasant for the EMU-CMU game.  EMU actually won that game in a thrilling last minue run by the Quarterback.
 A shot from the EMU-WMU game.  EMU won this game as well and captured the Michigan MAC trophy.
 2011 found me up by Drummond Island for the first time.
 This was a shot from the EMU-Ball State game.  For the first time in a long time EMU had an opportunity to get into a bowl game but they lost but they still had a shot.
 This was the first basketball game that I got to cover from the sidelines.   This was a little harder than football though.
 Another EMU basketball game.
 My last EMU football game.  I felt like I was in the grove during this game.  I was pretty comfortable on the sidelines and I was most pleased with the shots from this game.  Plus EMU won.
 Another trip back to California.  Unfortunately, it was getting dark earlier, so I didn't have many opportunities for photography.  This was a shot from Downtown Disney in Anaheim.
 Another EMU Basketball game.
 This was an EMU game against the Spartan.  EMU got blown away.  I'm still a little shaky taking basketball pictures.  I haven't had as many chances to practice as EMU has been away for most of December.  As soon as the team returns to Ypsilanti, I will catch that game.
 I took another trip to Chicago in December.  I was missing the train so I decided to spend the day in Chicago.  This time found me at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures while I was on the U-boat, so I had to be content with outside shots.
December also found me at the Belle Isle Conservatory.  I hadn't been there in a long time, so I decided to go.  It was a pretty neat experience.

So there you have it.  That was most of 2011 for me.  There were a bunch of shots I left out as I didn't want a post with 100 pictures in it.  2011 found me with over 1000 posts for the year.  As I look back on 2011, I'm hoping that 2012 has great promise.

To my readers, I thank you for coming to this blog and I hope that you continue to visit it.  If there is anything you would like to see here, please leave a comment and I will try to accomodate you.

My Last Ship of the Year...The Sam Laud

So as I said in my earlier posts, I decided to go down to Riverside Park to catch my last ship of the year.  Unfortunately, the River isn't as busy right now as it is during the warmer months, so I could only catch one ship.  I think if I were able to go a little later, I might be able to catch more ships.  Oh well.
 The ship I caught was the Sam Laud who has appeared on this blog before.   So I'm not going to go into her history and stuff as you can click the link.  Here is the Sam Laud set against the Ren Cen.
 She's getting a little closer.  In the background is Belle Isle.
 I decided to pull the lens back a little bit to get more of the surroundings of the ship.
 Another closeup.  I think she was pouring on the engines as evidenced by the black smoke coming out of the stacks.
 A closeup of the superstructure.
 As she is getting a little closer.
 As she is passing by the Ambassador Bridge.
 A little further past the Ambassador Bridge.  I think I may need to get a wider angle lens because sometimes I lose the shot as the ship is straight across.
 Another closeup of the superstructure.
 As she heads further downriver.
 Set off against a pair of geese.
 Another shot as she is further downriver.  I kind of like this shot because the backdrop is relatively clean.
And as the Sam Laud carries the old year away......