Welcome back to a yearly tradition of mine of recapping what this year has been for me.  I like to do this each year since working a non-traditional job means that each year is very different and it’s neat to see where I’ve been. (at least to me).  On that note lets get started.

I started out the year shooting a corporate holiday event in which Bill Taylor, the founder of Fast Company, gave his words of wisdom to help jump start the year and inspire everyone to be their best in 2017.

(Nikon D4s, 2500ISO, Nikon 24-70F2.8@70mm.  1/200th@F2.8).  

I really do enjoy shooting corporate events like this as I get to hear perspectives from folks I’d otherwise never hear.  I also like meeting some of these influential people as well and 2017 was filled with no shortage of events where I got to learn about things I’d have never gone out of my way to learn about in the first place.  In a bit more intimate of a fashion though, 2017 was filled with quite a few magazine portraiture shoots as well.  For instance this shot of Indiana University President Michael McRobbie which actually took two different shoots to get.  This shot was from the second of the two shoots and is in his office.  Why were there two shoots instead of just one you ask?  Glad you asked.  The shoot was always intended to be in his office and the first time I was scheduled to shoot his office was unavailable at the very last second.  It’s his office so I’m not sure how his office was “unavailable”, but we shot in a conference room instead and then rescheduled to come back.   Each shoot lasted less than 10 minutes but the final shots ran with one being a full page in the magazine, and another run double truck.

(Nikon D5, 400ISO, Nikon 24-70F2.8@32mm. 1/160th@F4. Phottix Indra500 shot through a 47″ octabox to far camera left set to TTL via the Phottix ODIN2 on the camera hot shoe. )

I shot a lot of sports in 2017, including a few NEW ones for me.  One of the new sports included Fencing, which was truly a super cool experience as I love new challenges.  Learning this new sport from top to bottom was a fantastic experience and I got what I feel like are some really cool frames to prove it. This year I added Fencing and Water Polo to the list of sports that I’ve covered and I greatly look forward to any that I may add in 2018.

(Nikon D4s, 4000ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8VR2@130mm. 1/1000th@F2.8).

This year I again wrote some equipment reviews.  It’s been a reoccurring part of my blog for years now.  Some that stand out in my mind this year were for the Sigma 135F1.8, the Sigma 24-70F2.8OS, the Tamron 70-200F2.8G2 and of course the Nikon D850 (which I’ll mention in a bit).  I always love testing out new gear on some of my projects as it allows me to communicate how I feel about the equipment both to you the reader and also to the manufacturer.  On a select few occasions I have been honored and humbled for the manufacturer to take my feedback and make a change because of it.  It doesn’t always happen, and in fact rarely by the time I get the gear does it need any change at all, but on occasion, it does which is helpful to everyone.  I greatly look forward to continuing to put new gear through its paces in 2018 for those who will let me.  Keep your eyes peeled for things around the corner.

(Canon 1Dx, 50ISO, NEW Sigma 135F1.8. 1/8000th@F1.8. Phottix Indra500 with a Phottix Luna folding beauty dish to camera right set to FULL power to overpower the sun triggered by Phottix ODIN I on the camera hot shoe)

This year I again shot for USA Diving and team USA, but this year it was at the World Diving Championship trials.  I really enjoy shooting diving as it provides a significant number of challenges in regard to both timing and composition.  There are even memes specifically for what is typically called “dive face”.  Dive face is something that is a natural part of photographing diving, but also something to avoid if possible.  Eventually, you learn the dive numbers and know what to look for wich each dive, selecting the focal length to best capture the dive from the location you are at.  It’s a wonderful challenge, and if done correctly can provide a really interesting and unique frame.  To go one step further though, I went looking for something completely different using a remote camera for a multiple exposure as you can see below.

(Nikon D750, 8000ISO, Nikon 24-70F2.8@48mm. Remote camera attached to railing via Manfrotto Superlcamp with camera plate attachment, triggered by Pocket Wizard Plus III and Pocket Wizard USB Pre Release cable. Photo stitched together in photoshop after the event).

In 2017 I did quite a bit of teaching.  Most notable were the Roberts Camera education Flash Bootcamps that I did, where the class experienced learning speedlights as a group, as well as this year I hosted a sports workshop at the Redbull Air race for Sigma Photo and Roberts Camera.  The air race was a really great experience to everyone that came out and Roberts even threw in a $100 gift card to the person with the best shot.  It was great because everyone got to use the Sigma long glass in a real action situation as opposed testing them just on the bag counter at Roberts, and the Sigma lenses performed exceptionally.  In 2018 I greatly look forward to continuing my teaching with both Ivy Tech and Roberts Camera. In fact, I am already slated to teach the 2018 Spring Studio lighting class at Ivy Tech starting soon and also have two workshops scheduled in January with Roberts Camera.  Click HERE for more info!

(Nikon D500, 100ISO, Sigma 100-500F4.5-6.3OS@340mm. 1/100th@F14)

Among all of these other projects, I still continued to shoot all kinds of ridiculous product for sale online and in print.  Things of all sorts complicated like this transparent rainbow perfume bottle here.  It’s not glamorous work, but I’m apparently good at it since I keep getting hired to do it.  Maybe I’ll outline more of this in a blog this year as it really is an interesting process. This shot below is almost straight out of the camera.  Make no mistake, touchup was done, but clipping the bottle out was NOT part of the photoshop.

Next, we move onto the new Nikon D850 and a long overdue Vacation that I had with my incredible wife.  This camera really changes things and I’ve shot quite a bit with it since I got it at the beginning of September. One of the first things I did was take it on vacation to Rome with Shannon to put it through its paces for a review.  You can read about that HERE.  But the reality is that after years with the Nikon D800 it never made it into the position of being the first camera out of my bag.  It was always the “if the conditions are right” camera to me and my workflow.  The D850 changes this though and I really feel as though the Nikon D850 is probably the most versatile camera ever created.  While it’s not perfect for every situation, I also think about it using it BEFORE the D5 now, which in years past never would have been the case.  In fact, Nikon is going to have to really step up their game if they release a D5s to get me (and likely many others) to buy it.  So much so that I feel like they should just skip it and move to the D6 because unless it’s 3o megapixels and 15fps, whats the point?  Out of the park. Still life? Portraits? Sports? 46 freaking Megapixels?  Way to go Nikon on the D850.

(Nikon D850, 2000ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8E@70mm, 1/1000th@F2.8)

In February of 2017, I started an Instagram thanks to some badgering from one of my clients.  It’s been slow going, and I don’t always post as much as I should but I really do like it.  Also, the feedback thus far has been positive so I think I’ll keep it up in 2018.  Do me a favor and give me a follow yea?  It’s pretty hodgepodge and I’m not totally sure how the whole Instagram thing works, but think: Work in Progress.  I try to post an image every day, not all can be current due to embargo on different projects, but I try to keep it moving.

In 2017 I shot almost 6 Terabytes worth of projects.  Sizes of individual projects delivered were all over the board obviously anywhere from 10gb on a quick assignment to 200gb on the larger or longer ones.  I’ve not posted as many blogs as I’d like, but not a lot of blog communication means I’m working right? that’s good yes? I think so.  I’ve got a lot of neat projects for 2018 on the books already and am excited to share more as the year progresses.  Thank you all for continuing to read when I post, thank you all for continuing to follow and thank you all for continuing to make this whole photography thing great.  Happiest of Holidays, Happiest of New Years, and as always; more soon.