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First Blog Anniversary Retrospective.

May 5, 2012

It’s been a year since I started this blog- that went by pretty fast!  Of course I say that about every year these days.  But still, it’s fun to look back a bit and see how far along things have come.

I originally thought that blogging about the natural world around me would be a way of learning more about what I’m seeing and sharing the results.  This quickly turned into a new hobby- photography.

Here’s my very first picture from my first nature post entitled Two Birds, One Photo.

A year ago, I was using a pocket camera.  I quickly realized that I needed a boost in quality for blog-worthy images, so, after a brief experimental period, I picked up a couple of Canon cameras (Powershot SX30 & EOS Rebel T3i DSLR).  That improved the photo quality- though I’m still learning as I go.  Automatic focus, while still a valuable tool, has been supplemented gradually with manual focus.  Who hasn’t had autofocus focus on the wrong thing?  Arghh!  I’m still learning the subtleties of angles of light and photo composition.  I’ll take a dozen or more poor or ‘ok’ photos for every good one, which is typical.

As far as documenting the natural world goes, I’ve learned not to get all worked up about missing good shots.  I miss many good shots, and I can imagine most nature photographers out there nodding and smiling grimly.  That’s just the way it goes.  But there are times in a day of frustration that make it all worthwhile when I get a great shot that’s portrait-quality, or snap an image at just the right time for an almost-iconic pose, or a moment where the light filters through the leaves perfectly, and I capture it for posterity.  These shots are more than enough reward for all of the missed opportunities.  And the math is on my side- the more I’m out in the field, the more luck I run into.  Preparation meets opportunity, for even such a novice as myself.

Blogging not only spurred me to upgrade my camera equipment, but it had me going to a greater variety of places in central Ohio to find photo-worthy subjects. I plan on visiting new places in the coming year, to keep expanding blog-worthy material.  And I plan on working on the writing end of things more.  There have been times in the last year when I felt a near-euphoria for the joy of being out in the natural world, and I’ll try to share that more.

I also learned to pace myself- posting every 1 to 3 days turned into a weekly post in fairly short order.  I believe this has boosted the quality of the posts.

Now, a brief trip down memory lane.  Here’s a handful of the 985 images that I’ve posted since last May.  As always, you can click on the photos for greater detail:

And to wrap this up, here’s some of the posts that I particularly enjoyed creating in this past year.  I especially liked writing about certain enjoyable trips I took- expect to see more of these types of articles ahead.

Gourd Nests for North America’s Biggest Swallow

Along the Scioto River South of Griggs Reservoir

A Robin’s Nest in Spring

Barn Swallow Nests

A Majestic Bird Catches a Fish

The Ohio Woods in Summer

The Life, Death and Rebirth of Ohio’s Prairies

Marsh Birds part 3: King (or Queen) of the Marsh

Autumn Warblers

Common Wildflowers of Ohio’s Autumn, part 2

January in Ohio

Thank you, readers- you make it all a much more enjoyable experience, and I very much appreciate the comments that you post.  Right now I’m sitting on a couple of posts that I can hardly wait to share with you.  Here’s to another year!

44 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2012 1:35 pm

    I need to get my hands on a Rebel at some point. I really like my PowerShot but I’d love to move up to a DSLR.

    • May 5, 2012 1:42 pm

      Rebecca, I’d recommend a Canon Rebel in a heartbeat. I like the Powershot, but I really appreciate how the Rebel salvages non-optimal lighting shots. Its lighting sensor is superb (in my limited photography experience, but still!). The extra megapixels help too, particularly when cropping photos.

  2. John Northcutt Young permalink
    May 5, 2012 1:44 pm

    Happy Anniversary, Watching Seasons! It is a joy following your blog.

  3. May 5, 2012 3:42 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I loved the hummingbird and “light in the forest” photos especially. I’ll be back to explore the other posts – I always enjoy visiting here!

  4. May 5, 2012 3:47 pm

    Thank you, Tracy. Wonderful photos, and as a poet, I love your thoughts about the creative process. I kept thinking, “Poetry is like that too.” Sometimes gifts, many papers shredded, so at least the paper gets re-used. Look forward to more of your good writing. As we all say, we so value this generous community. A place to grow and share. Ellen

    • May 5, 2012 4:04 pm

      Thank you, Ellen! Indeed, the creative process is similar across different expressions. It’s nice to visit and be visited by familiar bloggers. I enjoy your poems both past and present!

  5. May 5, 2012 5:02 pm

    How time flies when you’re having a good time! Happy aniversary, looking foward to many more!

    • May 5, 2012 5:13 pm

      Thank you sir! Time certainly seems to speed up once the days of youth have gone by, but it’s all good!

  6. keekeepod permalink
    May 5, 2012 5:12 pm

    You’re so right about the camera and auto-focus. Sometimes I wish I have better equipment. However, in my case it will probably be wasted anyway. Look forward to your future posts.

  7. May 5, 2012 5:24 pm

    I bet you have lots of favorite photos, but one of my favorites is the barn swallows in the nest. I’m a sucker for baby birds! Maybe like you I’ll get inspired to make an investment in a macro lens – my up close pictures suck :) Keep up the good work!

    • May 5, 2012 5:43 pm

      Thanks Jo Ann! I couldn’t stay away from those swallow nests, the little ones were so photogenic! I still have problems with close up shots, I’m learning as I go here- the 250mm lens on the T3i is what I’m most comfortable with, without getting into tripods and bigger lenses etc.

  8. May 5, 2012 7:46 pm

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary, Tracy! Your blog is so wonderful and your photos are stunning, I look forward to more wonderful posts!

  9. May 5, 2012 7:57 pm

    What an amazing collection of photos! I wanted to let you know that I just awarded you the versatile blogger award. I know some of my awardees have gotten this before, but I do have my favorites and really wanted to honor you. For the announcement, see: http://artofnaturalliving.com/2012/05/05/kitchen-sink-cookies/

  10. May 5, 2012 10:31 pm

    Better to show two birds in one phot, as you did in your first, than to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying would have us do.

    Congratulations on your first year.

    Steve Schwartzman

    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

  11. May 6, 2012 12:53 am

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary! Lovely group of photos.

  12. May 6, 2012 6:07 am

    You really have taken some stunning photos, of landscapes as well as wildlife. I have really enjoyed your blog over the last year and I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing much more of Ohio through the seasons. Well done!

  13. May 6, 2012 11:04 am

    Happy Blogversary Tracie!!! I have watched you from pretty much the beginning I think and have seen you grow as a photographer and nature writer. You know, with all the detail you put into your posts, once a week is about all I would think you could do and not be stressed about it. It is clear you take time with them. How wonderful that having this blog has made you even more aware of your glorious surroundings than you were before you started. It would be tuff for me to pick a favorite in this group of photos you posted today. Probably the hummingbird….glorious shot!

  14. May 6, 2012 7:27 pm

    Congratulations on your first year. I always enjoy each posting, especially the pictures.

  15. May 6, 2012 8:06 pm

    Congratulations! I think that as well as the photography, you’re becoming an expert in names of flora and fauna :)

  16. May 6, 2012 8:38 pm

    Congratulations Tracy. I think one mark of a good nature blog is when it makes people want to visit the places you blog about. After reading your blog, I’d love to visit Ohio.

    • May 6, 2012 9:51 pm

      Thanks, NHGS! New Hampshire has always been high on my list of states to check out. Your blog captures the natural world there extremely well!

  17. May 6, 2012 10:42 pm

    Congratulations on your first year, Tracy! Those young swallows are a favorite of mine, too. You’ve gotten a lot of good shots to remember your year; looking forward to your next year of adventures!

  18. May 7, 2012 12:21 am

    Congratulations on the one year milestone! This is a great collection of photos. Amazing how they add up isn’t it! You mentioned a vital fact about blogging and nature photography: The more you are outdoors the more luck there is!

  19. May 7, 2012 4:45 pm

    Happy Blogoversary Tracy! Many of your photos have simply taken my breath away… I look forward to learning more about the natural world in Ohio and seeing another year’s worth of stunning photographs!

  20. May 9, 2012 5:52 pm

    Happy Blog Birthday, Tracy! You have some amazing images, and I look forward to seeing more in the next year. :)

  21. May 12, 2012 3:11 pm

    Hi Watching Seasons, Nice series. Congrats on your blogging anniversary. You take some very nice photographs! My favorite of this series is that tender shot of the American Robin up on its nest. Super. Have a truly nice day!

  22. May 14, 2012 11:25 am

    Incredible shots!!! :)

  23. May 31, 2012 7:48 pm

    Congratulations on the anniversary – AND on finding photography! I love visiting your site and seeing what you’ve been seeing!

  24. June 18, 2012 1:07 pm

    Thanks everyone! :)

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