My top 5 images for discussion

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Clearwater, Florida
Please post any comments or discussion regarding my top 5 photo selections in this thread.

1. Sunrise at the Skyway Bridge.
This was a completely serendipitous photo taken in 2006 while on a Boy Scout camping trip at Ft. De Soto Park.
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NIKON D2X 180.0 mm f/2.8 180mm f/5.6 1/90s ISO 100


2. Sunset at Vestrahorn
Taken during my 2015 trip to Iceland. This location has been photographed by millions for good reason. As the sun was setting, the drama unfolded in the sky before me for just a few moments. I love the reflection in the tidepools.

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NIKON D800E 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8 19mm f/18.0 8s ISO 100


3. In the Garage
I am first and foremost a portrait photographer. We all look for our own "style" and mine became known as garage photography. The natural light coming through the garage door opening acts as a large softbox creating a unique look. This photo of my son in 2006 started it all.
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NIKON D2Xs --- 85mm f/3.2 1/30s ISO 200


4. Mother Bear
Coastal brown bear from my trip to Lake Clark NP, Alaska in 2018. The sun had set and we were blessed with a soft, pastel light while the bears finished fishing for the day. I like the pose, the gaze and the hint of power in her claws as the water falls away.
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NIKON D500 --- 300mm f/4.0 1/1000s ISO 1000


5. Beneath the Ice
Yes, two photos from the same trip to Iceland in 2015. I have dozens of large prints throughout 9 of my offices. This one has received the most comments. One location has it printed 40x60 on aluminum and the blues are mesmerizing.
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A few observations from me:

- It's all about the light. My favorites all have a lighting characteristic that set them apart. Sunrise, sunset, softness, etc... I think about that a lot more now and often just put my camera away during the harsh mid-day hours.

- I love portraits. My portfolio is filled with portraits of my family, brides, newborns, children and others. However, it's tough to have a portrait rise to a unique level in my eyes. So much is personal, but it's a challenge to brings something really special to most portraits.

- Sports photography is exciting, but my shots don't excel. So much of sports photography is catching peak action from the perfect vantage point with good lighting. All of my pro action shots were taken from the stands with a poor angle. Sports at a pre-collegiate level can have some cute subjects with good action, but these shots are rarely compelling.

- I have lots of bird photos. Many quite good with nice light, low vantage point, and peak action. Perhaps it's just personal preference, but none of my bird photos rate in my top 10 (let alone top 5).

- It's not about the gear.

- Water skiing is fun to shoot, but most of my shots look the same and none rise to the level I hope to achieve.
 
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Ken St John
Stunners all. Especially like the ice caves ... that shade of blue is really beautifully captured!!

Well done!!

Ken
 
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What a diverse and great group of images. I am so glad to see a portrait, as I have always admired your work with the 85/105 and your ability to get such accurate skin tones while also capturing/using soft and subtle light!
 
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Commodorefirst

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I still recall that garage shot Mitchel, and the Iceland shot was one of the best ever on the cafe for Blues!
 
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The top 4/5th of that first one looks 2 dimensional, then I think of two sailboats, then two umbrellas :) The colours are amazing.
 
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1,3 & 5 for me ... and among this group 3 stands out for me. Your son's portrait is one of the best portraits I have seen on this forum!
 

NCV

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A flawless five. The symmetry of the sun in the first one and the use of a person to give scale to the last one are the highpoints.
 
- It's not about the gear.

Actually, it IS, in a way...... One has to have certain focal lengths, certain types of lenses, in order to achieve certain results, right? You wouldn't have gotten some of those shots with, say, an iPhone! :D

Also, in addition, to some extent, it's about the post-processing, too. Often we see some fantastic and terrific images, but they are so not only because of excellent shooting and use of light in the first place but also skillful use of whatever editing program(s) the photographer works with later....

But, yes, also the individual using the camera and the lens needs to know how to get the best out of each, how to achieve those great results.....

Anyway, love seeing these images -- definitely fantastic!
 
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Joined
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A fantastic set of images! Your second photograph, Sunset at Vestrahorn, is what inspired me to go to Iceland! I don't remember seeing the fifth photograph before...another great Iceland image.

Glenn
 

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