Year End Review – Night Photography

I did a year end review of my favorite and least favorite still life images. As promises here are my favorite and least favorite night images. 

Favorite Night Photography

Night photography is my current obsession. As I mentioned in my America After Dark gallery. This image is from the Dragon Lights Festival. There is a color version of this and it’s nice. But I love the way the black and white makes it about the light and dark and highlights the shapes of the flowers and people. 

Dragon Lights Festival flower tunnel
A tunnel of light with people walking through. 

A favorite of not just my night photography, but also my photos from Knoxville. The Tennessee Theatre marquee is lit up and people are walking through town. In the lower right corner is a young girl with a pink jacket, she makes this photo for me. I love subtle touches in photos.

Downtown Knoxville, TN after dark
Gay Street in Knoxville, TN after dark.

The Chrysler Building takes center stage in this New York skyline photo. I took this from the observation deck on the Empire State Building. I had to squeeze myself in between people taking selfies and some lovers making out. But totally worth it!

New York City after dark. The view from the Empire State Building.
New York City skyline after dark. Taken from the Empire State Building, with the Chrysler Building as the central part of this image.

The Daylight Building in downtown Knoxville, TN. I took this while wondering around downtown. I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye. So, I was headed back to the car. And there it was. The single person, the lone bicycle, and the shops all lit up for the night.

The Daylight Building in downtown Knoxville, TN.
The Daylight Building in Knoxville, TN. 

Least Favorite Night Photography

It’s not that I don’t like these images but I feel like they could be better.

I don’t like the stop sign or the car in this image. As we were leaving, I noticed a better angle and it’s been bugging me ever since. I think I will have to go back and get a better pic. Also, eat pizza!

Big Ed's Pizza in Oak Ridge, TN.
Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge, TN. Big Ed’s has been at its current location since 1970. It’s a local staple and always busy. 

I think I might like this better if shot a little closer to sunset, so the 1907 and the outline of the clock could be more pronounced. Yes, I could lighten it but that would produce an unnatural grainy look. 

Lenoir City street clock
Street Clock in Lenoir City, TN. 

Thank you for visiting my most and least favorite list of night photography from this year. Feel free to share your own end of year blogs in the comments below! 

Prints are available of all images in my Pixels store. Click here. You can also click on the image and it will take you directly to the store.

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Year End Review – 2018

At the end of the year, I like to revisit my images. I like to see where I started and where I ended. I usually choose my favorites from the year. But this year, I am going to share a few of my favorites and a few of my least favorites. I will do several of these. Each with a theme, so they don’t get too long. As always, comments are welcome! 

The first one will be still life photography. The next will be night photography. Then we will look at travel photography. After that, it’ll be 2019 and time to start again!

Still Life Photography

This was one of the first images I shared in January. In the winter months, I have a hard time going outside (cold, ugh). So, I often do some experimenting with still life images. The camera is an Olympus film camera. The case is an old make up case that I found at a garage sale in Winchester, KY. I have this in color and black and white. I prefer the black and white version because it echoes that sense of antiquity and gives it a vintage feel. Definitely, one of my favorite still life images!

Favorites

An old Olympus film camera sits atop a small antique make up case. Finished in black and white for vintage effect.
An old Olympus film camera sits atop a small antique make up case. Finished in black and white for vintage effect

This image was taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. The theme was jewelry not being worn. I love the dirty, grungy background with the smooth silver and beads. The selective color gives it that pop. I want to do more of these next year!

Silver jewelry still life
Silver jewelry still life

Another image taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. I love anything pertaining to time – watches, clocks, hourglasses. I finished this with a sepia tone and a vignette to give it an old, timeless feel. 

Pocket Watches
Two pocket watches sit on weathered wood, finished with a sepia tone and vignette.

Least Favorite

When I say least favorite, I just mean they don’t speak to me the same way the others do. I don’t hate them, or I wouldn’t be sharing them. 

The exact same image as above without the vintage finish. The watches feel too new and it just does not speak to me in the same way. 

Pocket Watches
2 pocket watches sit on weathered wood. 

This is my least favorite still life created this year. It’s boring and just does not speak to me. This was taken on a super bright spring day. I did very little planning and spent almost no time on it. Maybe I should try again. Maybe not. 

Acoustic guitar leaning against a brick wall.
Acoustic guitar leaning against a brick wall.

I hesitated on this one. I like it. I love the black and white finish with the white vignette. The shallow depth of field. And the phone itself is a work of art. But I think I could have done something better with this and will keep trying.

old fashioned telephone in black and white.
Old fashioned telephone in black and white. 

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to watch for the next installment of my year end review! Do you have a year end blog? Feel free to share in the comments! 

As always, the images are available as prints and other products in my shop! 

America After Dark

My current obsession is night photography. I love to see city lights after dark or small town lights. I never carry a tripod with me, so I shoot with a super high ISO or try to rest the camera on something. I use a Sony A7rII and it is great for shooting in low light with a minimum of grain. Although, I have night photos from around the world, this gallery is dedicated to America after dark. 

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is my home town, so I have lots of images from here. Here are a few.

Downtown Knoxville, TN, featuring the Tennessee Theatre marquee after dark.
After dark on Gay Street, featuring the Tennessee Theatre marquee. This is one of my favorites from Knoxville. 
The Daylight Building on Union Avenue.
The Daylight Building after dark. This is a definite favorite. All of the elements are there, the lights, the single person, and a bicycle. 
The Bijou Theatre Marquee in Knoxville, Tn.
The Bijou Theatre Marquee in downtown Knoxville, TN. 

New York City

When I visited New York, I went alone. At first, I thought I might be too afraid to spend a lot of time out after dark, especially taking photos. But I got comfortable with it fairly quickly. 

Skylight Diner in Midtown.
The Skylight was my go to breakfast place, since it was just around the corner from my Airbnb. The food was excellent and ambiance was everything a diner in NYC should be.
A street scene in New York City, NY.
Street scene in New York City, NY in front of the Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie. 
Looking up at the Empire State Building in NYC.
Looking up at the Empire State Building in New York City. After going up and taking skyline photos and took this as I was leaving. 

Want to see more photos from after dark, click here.

Feel free to comment and share your own images of America After Dark. 

Best Sellers

It’s the end of the year and time for lots of recaps and recalls. Today, I want to share with you some of my best selling prints from my shop on Etsy– Purple Rosemary. Feel free to share your own best sellers in the comments! 

Etsy Listings

I sell quite a bit in my Etsy Shop – Purple Rosemary. These are just a few of the big sellers. 

Richmond, VA skyline, featuring the Lucky Strike Chimney and water tower. I’ve had several people tell me that the chimney was an important part of their childhood memories. 
The Library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Book lovers appreciate this one, as well as, lovers of black and white art. 
Apothecary Jars with medicinal liquids inside. Whatever ails you, we have the cure. This prints sells at least once a month. But as often as it sells, I get a question asking if I sell the labels with the jars. 
Who can resist these beauties? Cowgirls and fashionistas all over love this image. I admit, it is one of my all time favorites! 
The Tennessee Theatre marquee on Gay Street in Knoxville, TN. People from all over the United States order this one. I expected to sell to people in Knoxville. But I have only sold a few to the locals. 
This map is a favorite in Knoxville. I had one person order several poster sized images to give as gifts. 
The Sunsphere on a cloudy evening in the fall. This has been very popular recently. 

Be sure to visit my shop and see if you are looking for a great gift for someone. Or maybe you just want to own something unique for yourself! Thank you for visiting my gallery. 

Street Clocks

I have a slight obsession with clocks and watches. One of my favorite things to shoot when traveling is street clocks. These are clocks that hang outside of shops or restaurants. Small towns tend to have a random clock on the sidewalk. I do not know where this tradition is from, but I love it! 

A shop clock in Kutna Hora, Czechia.
Street clock in Kutna Hora, Czechia. 
Ashland street clock, located at the train station.
The street clock at the Ashland, Virginia train station.

Bottoms shop clock in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Bottoms shop clock in Bardstown, Kentucky. I have no idea what Bottoms was. I assume a watch or jewelry shop.
Tiffany's shop clock
The entrance to Tiffany & Co. complete with a Tiffany blue shop clock.
Keeton's Jewelers in Knoxville, TN is no longer in business. But the clock still stands.
Keeton’s Jewelers in Knoxville, TN. This clock is around the corner from my house. The building is long empty, but the clock still stands. 
Clock at the entry to the Fuller Building in New York City.
The entry to the Fuller Building in New York City, shop clock included.

Some of these clocks still work, even though the shops they once represented are long gone. Each of these clocks has its own personality and look. Feel free to share links to your own street clocks in the comments! 

Thanks for looking at my street / shop clocks. Prints are available of these and other clock images here – https://1-sharon-popek.pixels.com/collections/time

Black and White vs. Color Part 2

I posted about my indecision on black and white vs. color photos. This blog is going to discuss when there is no question. It must be black and white. 

A Good Night for Pizza

This image was taken at night in New York City. Often, images taken at night can have an odd color shift. This image had some pretty green tinges. Yes, I can color correct the image. But sometimes it creates other weirdness or I simply don’t like the image in color.

Waiting for the Train

This is another image that looks better as a black and white. The color just takes away from the subject of the image. 

Avenue of Americas

The street sign for the Avenue of Americas looks better in black and white. The lights glow more. The color version just feels dull to me. 

Thank you for visiting my blog! Feel free to comment and share the link to your own blog. 

Black and White or Color

This is an interactive blog. I would like your feedback and opinion on this images. I have a hard time deciding if I like the black and white or color versions better. Of course, in the end, I usually offer both in my shop. But it is nice to get feedback. So let me which you prefer and why.

New York Public Library

When on the train to NYC, I met a lady who told me I had to go see the Public Library. She did not lie. 

Trefoil Arch Central Park

I love this tunnel. I have seen other photos and was excited when I came across it while wandering the park. I had to wait for a few people to come along and walk through to get this image. I prefer the black and white. It  emphasizes the shapes and textures better. What do you think?

The New York Times Building

When I looked up and saw this, I knew that I had to take a picture of it. I am torn on which I prefer. I like the more modern feel of the color version. But I really like the classic touch of the black and white.

Between the Old and the New

The thing I love most about traveling in large cities is this. When modern meets historic and a classic in between. I can’t pick which I like better. Maybe you can!

Glass House Tavern Sign

I found the simplicity of this sign to be eye catching. Shoe horned in with the big showy marquees of Times Square, it caught my attention. The black and white image feels like classic, like it could have been taken in the early days of photography.


I look forward to your input on these images! Also, feel free to link to your own blog in the comments below.

Prints of all images are available in my shop.

Something Different on Sunday

Today we are going to talk about art on things.  Since I was a young art major in college, I have always looked for new ways to present my work. Prints are nice and all, but I am obsessed with having my work on everything, from tote bags to shoes, even umbrellas!

Some say that it cheapens the work and some how makes it less special. I would argue that it allows more people to own and appreciate my work. Some people can’t afford a $50 print, but maybe they can afford a $15 mug. And they will see and interact with that image daily. I love the idea of that. These make great unique gift ideas or maybe you just want something different!

 

 

Hope by Sharon Popek
A coffee mug with a colorful image of hope

Maybe a backpack is more your thing.

Hope by Sharon Popek
This backpack definitely stands out!

Watch for more cool things from me! Umbrellas included!

 

New York City Day 2

See Rhode Island or Bust and New York City Day 1 for the beginning of the trip.

I got online and bought a ticket to the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island tour for early Monday morning. I had read that mornings were the best time to go. I checked the subway map to plan my route. So, on Day 2 in New York City, I headed out bright and early, looking for breakfast.

Bumps in the Road

Did I mention that it was Labor Day? Holidays change everything. The streets were virtually empty and everything was closed. So, breakfast was a coffee and muffin from the only small market open.

At Penn Station, I discovered that there was construction on the line I needed to take to Battery Park. Battery Park is where Statue Cruises is located. So, the line that goes straight there, was closed. So, some helpful metro workers told me to take Line 2 to a different stop and get on the free shuttle that would go to Battery Park. At the stop, there was no shuttle and the sign said it would not arrive for another 30 minutes.  According to my phone, I could walk there in 20. So, off I went. I took lots of photos on the way. Here are a few. It took me a little longer than 20 minutes. There was construction, thus closing the sidewalk and I had to take a detour.

Boat Rides and 195 Steps

On the boat over, I had a great view. But once we started getting close, people started crowding in front of me. I managed to snag a few shots before too many people came in.

I visited the Statue of Liberty first. I walked up 195 to the pedestal because the elevator was packed and full elevators are on my list of “probably not”. I made it up to the pedestal and got a great view of the city and the grounds below. If you go, you will have to get a locker. Be prepared for frustration and waiting in line for this. Either way, I’m glad I went. It was worth every step.

Ellis Island

I and 50,000 other people decided it was time to get back on the boat and go to Ellis Island. By the time I made it off the boat and out of the crowd, I was pretty tired. But I walked around the place and took some photos.

Back in NYC

After disembarking at Battery Park, I found a kiosk selling cold beer and could not refuse.  I bought a beer and walked around for a bit. Then I returned to the room for a long nap.

After my nap, I found an Indian place for dinner. It was delicious. The garlic naan was spot on.

After walking 11 miles and taking tons of photos, it was time to retire. The next day would be more walking, sweating, drinking, and photos.

 

 

All things hopeful

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was Hope. Many great images to guide us and keep our spirits up. A great way to keep yourself positive and ready to face the world. Be Hopeful.

 

Fine Art Photography by Sharon Popek