Why Do We Like an Image?

Gone the Sun

Gone the Sun – Ontonagon, Michigan

Since the beginning …

Since the beginning of my “pro” digital photography life (back in 2009) ,  I wanted to get some outside confirmation that my photography was any good.  So I chose to compete in the local camera club competitions.

The camera club only allowed nature photographs.  The club defined a nature photograph as a photograph of nature that did not have evidence of hand of man, as defined below. So, I have looked mostly to create nature images, eliminating such hand of man images from my own artistic consideration.

“Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict observations from all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well informed person will be able to identify the subject material and to certify as to its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality. Human elements shall not be present, except on the rare occasion where those human elements enhance the nature story. The presence of scientific bands on wild animals is acceptable. Photographs of artificially produced hybrid plants or animals, mounted specimens, or obviously set arrangements, are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation, manual or digital, that alters the truth of the photographic statement.”

— The Hand of Man as defined by the Photographic Society of America

Until now!

What changed my mind? In the voting for my top photographs of 2017, the image above was in the top four, and, there were two people (that I know of) who liked this image the best.  Is there a problem?  Yes, the fire on the beach is definitely hand of man!

I have essentially been keeping most of my hand of man images unpublished.

So now, I am going to go through my hard drive inventory of nature type images that contain hand of man, and I will share that collection with you.

Thank you for you support over the years, and for the voting for a campfire that has given me a new thought.

I hope you will enjoy whatever comes next!   🙂

My Top Photographs of 2017

The votes are all in and counted, and here are my top photographs of 2017!

We had an amazing response! 14 people looked through my initial selection of 32 images and voted for their favorites here on the blog and through email. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to look through these photographs and voice your opinions! I also really appreciate all the kind words expressed along with the votes.  I’ve read them all and am very grateful for all your support.

As promised, to express my gratitude to all the voters, I’m giving away a 12×18 print to the voter whose selections most closely matched the winning top photographs.  And the winner is … Marie Drennan! Marie will receive a 12 x 18 print of her choice from among the 32 original selections. Congratulations Marie!

For this voting, there was a 5-way tie for the top 9th photograph, so I decided to expand the final selection to 13 images.  Here’s the list of the thirteen images that received the most picks, and the number of votes they each received:

1. Image #12, Saturday Night Pacific – Cape Perpetua, Oregon coast,  11 votes

2. Image # 18, Cloud Cover – Mount Hood, Oregon, 10 votes

2. Image # 24 , Hidden Treasures – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan, 10 votes

4. Image # 28, Gone the Sun – Ontonagon, Michigan, 9 votes

5. Image # 7, Cobble Beach #2 – Yaquina Head Marine Garden, Newport, Oregon, 8 votes

5. Image # 11, Yaquina Sunshine – Yaquina Head, Oregon, 8 votes

5. Image # 17, Falling to a River – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, 8 votes

8. Image # 20, Upper Bond Falls #1 – Trout Creek, Michigan, 7 votes

9. Image # 13, I’m Comin’ Out – Spring Foliage of Oregon, 6 votes

9. Image # 22, Lake in the Clouds – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan, 6 votes

9. Image # 26, A Waterfall Glen – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan, 6 votes

9. Image # 27, Lake Superior Sunset – Ontonagon, Michigan, 6 votes

9. Image # 30, Fall Reflections – Side of the Road, Wisconsin, 6 votes

A well-rounded selection.  Most of my personal favorites are in this Top 13 collection. In case you are interested, my personal favorite is #12, Saturday Night Pacific.  I’m glad to see this photograph was popular with most of you.  My Marti even chose this one to be on the front page of her website.

I’ll be submitting this post to Jim Goldstein’s blog project shortly. Thanks to Jim and G Dan Mitchell for providing the original inspiration for putting together this list back in January of 2011, and helping to start this tradition.

Again, thank you so much for your participation. This has been really fun for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it also. Here are the top thirteen images:

 

Saturday Night Pacific

12. Saturday Night Pacific – Cape Perpetua, Oregon coast

Cloud Cover

18. Cloud Cover – Mount Hood, Oregon

Hidden Treasures

24. Hidden Treasures – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Gone the Sun

28. Gone the Sun – Ontonagon, Michigan

Cobble Beach #2

7. Cobble Beach #2 – Yaquina Head Marine Garden, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Sunshine

11. Yaquina Sunshine – Yaquina Head, Oregon

Falling to a River

17. Falling to a River – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Upper Bond Falls #1

20. Upper Bond Falls #1 – Trout Creek, Michigan

I'm Comin' Out

13. I’m Comin’ Out – Spring Foliage of Oregon

Lake in the Clouds

22. Lake in the Clouds – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

A Waterfall Glen

26. A Waterfall Glen – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Lake Superior Sunset

27. Lake Superior Sunset – Ontonagon, Michigan

Fall Reflections

30. Fall Reflections – Side of the Road, Wisconsin

My Best Images of 2017

Happy New Year Everyone!

It’s that time of year for lists but with this one, I am asking for your vote in selecting my Top 10 Images of 2017.

In appreciation for your time, if your 10 selections most closely match the final top 10 from the voting,  I will send you a free a print of your favorite image!

I’ve posted 32 of my best photographs from 2017 below, in chronological order.  Please look through these and list the numbers (they are below each image) of your ten favorites in the comment box at the bottom of the post.

After the voting is done I’ll post the top ten on this blog, and submit the final group to Jim Goldstein’s blog project, where he’ll be showcasing the best images of the year from over 300 photographers. The voting deadline is this Wednesday, January 3rd, at 6pm Central time.

Enjoy viewing these images, and thanks for your input — I really appreciate your help!

— Harry Hitzeman

Ecola State Park

1. Ecola State Park, Oregon Coast

Moss Covered Trees

2. Moss Covered Trees – Ecola State Park, Oregon Coast

Seas and Clouds

3. Seas and Clouds – Cannon Beach, Oregon

Ridin' the Storm Out

4. Ridin’ the Storm Out – Cannon Beach, Oregon

Pacific Rainbow

5. Pacific Rainbow – Tillamook County, Oregon Coast

Cobble Beach #1

6. Cobble Beach #1 – Yaquina Head Marine Garden, Newport, Oregon

Cobble Beach #2

7. Cobble Beach #2 – Yaquina Head Marine Garden, Newport, Oregon

Cobble Beach #3

8. Cobble Beach #3 – Yaquina Head Marine Garden, Newport, Oregon

Golden Calm

9. Golden Calm – Depoe Bay, Oregon

Depoe Bay Afternoon

10. Depoe Bay Afternoon – Depoe Bay, Oregon

Yaquina Sunshine

11. Yaquina Sunshine – Yaquina Head, Oregon

Saturday Night Pacific

12. Saturday Night Pacific – Cape Perpetua, Oregon coast

I'm Comin' Out

13. I’m Comin’ Out – Spring Foliage of Oregon

Frosty Trees

14. Frosty Trees – Oregon Dunes, Oregon

Last Sunrise

15. Last Sunrise – Oregon Coast

My Favorite Falls

16. My Favorite Falls – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Falling to a River

17. Falling to a River – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Cloud Cover

18. Cloud Cover – Mount Hood, Oregon

Lower Bond Falls

19. Lower Bond Falls – Trout Creek, Michigan

Upper Bond Falls

20. Upper Bond Falls #1 – Trout Creek, Michigan

Upper Bond Falls #2

21. Upper Bond Falls #2 – Trout Creek, Michigan

Lake in the Clouds

22. Lake in the Clouds – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

River Swoosh

23. River Swoosh – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Hidden Treasures

24. Hidden Treasures – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Rocky Rooty River

25. Rocky Rooty River – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

A Waterfall Glen

26. A Waterfall Glen – Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Lake Superior Sunset

27. Lake Superior Sunset – Ontonagon, Michigan

Gone the Sun

28. Gone the Sun – Ontonagon, Michigan

Waiting for the Cattle

29. Waiting for Cattle – Somewhere in Michigan or Wisconsin

Fall Reflections

30. Fall Reflections – Side of the Road, Wisconsin

Mirrored on a River

31. Mirrored on a River – Eagle River, Wisconsin

Fall Glory

32. Fall Glory – Eagle River, Wisconsin

 

Heaven or Hell? You Choose

One of my earliest childhood memories of joyfulness was taking my friends down to the corner sandlot and exploring.  In there, among the trees and the bushes and sandpits we could find a world of adventure, away from the grownups, exploring “nature”.  Or, were we exploring our own nature?

Fall Forest Panorama

Fall panorama in Morton Arboretum

Since then I’ve morphed into a what I thought a grownup should be, and spent most of my life putting away the sandlot explorations in pursuit of the almighty dollar. With the market crash of 2008-2009, some of those dollars vanished.  I wondered if my quest for sandlot adventures had vanished too.

With some nudging from a dear spiritual teacher, I discovered that the world was still my sandlot.   I enjoyed being in nature, and photography became my focusing lens to help me to concentrate on beauty and the seeing of it.

Photography has brought me many benefits:

  • The busy one who has been chasing the buck has found beauty and an increased intelligence about what my emotions are telling me (gift of feeling)
  • The introverted one who is unsure around others has found confidence (gift of self-esteem)
  • The quiet, reserved soul has found a way to connect with others (gift of leadership)
  • The Capricorn soul who is always carrying such burdens of doingness has had his load enlightened (gift of wisdom)
  • The sandlot explorer has reclaimed his childhood joy of discovery by capturing the beauty of the world (gift of wonder)

What a beautiful place!  Waterfalls!  Sunrises!  Sunsets!  The Moon and Stars!  Canyons! Mountains!  Rivers!  Oceans!

Water Color

Water Color
Cannon Beach, Oregon

Lake Moraine Sunrise

Lake Moraine Sunrise
Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies

Little River Sunrise

Little River Sunrise
Great Smoky Mountains NP

Haystack Moonset IV

Haystack Moonset IV
Cannon Beach, Oregon

LaTourell Falls I

LaTourell Falls I
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Perfect Moon Waves

Perfect Moon Waves
Cape Cod National Seashore

Hickoy Nut Falls I

Hickoy Nut Falls I
Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina

 

Beauty helps us to recognize who we are.  We are all explorers, and creators of our own lives. Let us share in the joy of creating with the One who created all. It starts in the choices of the mind …

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”  ~~ John Milton

Saturday Night Pacific

Saturday Night Pacific
Oregon Coast

My wish for you in this season of Light — Have a Joyful, Heavenly Holiday, and an Amazingly Beautiful 2018!

— Harry Hitzeman

The Calatrava

The Milwaukee Art Museum was designed by Santiago Calatrava. It is a stunning white curvy and lacy building that offers a multitude of perspectives to shoot, inside and out. The images below were shot on a on a sunny cloudless afternoon, only from the outside.

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

The Calatrava

When you visit there, have fun coming up with compositions that delight YOU!