2020: A Photographic Year in Review… with a twist

As we enter the last month of 2020, I wanted to take some time to reflect. While it certainly wasn’t the year any of us anticipated, I think there were many beautiful moments that emerged from the confusion of it all.

Photography, for me, is therapeutic, so for this post, I wanted to focus on some of the artistic tools I use when I really need to challenge myself and change my perspective. So for that reason, all of the featured images were created (in camera) using one of my Lensbaby lenses, optics or Omni wands. Fun, right?!

Let’s get started…

January

November thru February is typically a time of creative struggle for me. Photographically, the lack of color and light is a big part of that challenge. One of the things that I like to do when this happens is to break out some of my more artistic lenses and tools.

These are a few candid shots from our day-to-day lives.

(Nikon D750 and Lensbaby Composer Pro II – paired with the Sweet 50 & Edge 35 Optics)

I am fortunate to live near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. It’s a lovely place to visit when I need to recharge. Even the drive-up overlooks have views that do not disappoint.

(Nikon D750, Tamron 70-200mm & Lensbaby Omni Color Expansion)

This gem is my FAVORITE local spot for shooting landscapes…hands down. It was closed much of this year due to COVID and I have really missed it.

Sherando Lake, Virginia (Nikon D750 and Lensbaby Composer Pro II paired with the Edge 35 Optics)

February

February was a tough month for me, but I found some peace in my camera as always.

Below are scenes from a little waterfall that I just adore. It’s only about a mile from my house, but when I am there it just seems so magical. I love the way the light comes through the trees and all of the details that can be found here.

(Nikon D750, Lensbaby Composer Pro II paired with the Lensbaby Edge 35, Edge 80 Optics and Omni)

Just for fun…A couple of glamorous beauty shots of my best friend, Cecilia. A girl can never have enough gold & pink sparkles, right?

(Nikon D750 paired with the Lensbaby Velvet 56)

March

March, the month when words like “quarantine”, “new normal” and “social distancing” became regular parts of my vocabulary. It was a little scary to be honest. March was the last time I remember eating in a restaurant or spending time with and visiting extended family. March was the last time my son was in school with his friends. I didn’t know when I picked him up that day from preschool that he wouldn’t be back for kindergarten. It still makes me sad.

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Velvet 56 & Composer Pro II with the Edge 35)

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 35 & Twist 60 Optics)

April

The return of spring, colors and my creative soul.

Day to Day life during COVID lockdown… Backyard moon shots, Easter at home, car rides on country roads and running around on the middle school tennis court.

For the moon shots, I decided to add a twist by holding a crystal wand in front of my telephoto lens.

(Nikon D850, Tamron 150-600mm (with the Lensbaby Omni) 7 Velvet 56)

(Nikon D850 and Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 35 and Edge 80 Optics)

Stormy skies and vivid greens are one of my favorite combinations

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Velvet 28)

Kids at play is life being lived at its best for sure.

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Velvet 28)

May

This day really stands out in my mind. It was a tough one. I didn’t understand what was happening with the pandemic, I didn’t know what I was going to do about my son not being in school and I was truly so worried about everything. I was driving my son to his doctor for a checkup and at some point I stopped stressing about life long enough to take a deep breath and look up at the sky. Thankfully I had a camera with me in my car (as I almost always do) and I was able to catch this moment of pure awesomeness. (Asperitas clouds)

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Twist 60 Optic)

June

Sweet Summertime… Lightning bugs, long days, starry nights, campfire & country roads. This is a little glimpse into my world in the summer.

(Nikon D850 and Lensbaby Velvet 28)

(Nikon D850 and Lensbaby Composer Pro II, Twist 60 & Sweet 50)

If you follow my work, you know how I love the night sky, but I don’t always use a Lensbaby lens to shoot it. Below are 2 images of the Milky Way shot using the Velvet 28… very glowy and dreamy don’tcha think?

(Nikon D850 and Lensbaby Velvet 28)

(Nikon D850 and the Composer Pro II with the Edge 80)

July

Backyard fireworks, Comet Neowise and a little gardening.

A shout-out to my neighbors for putting on a nice show when all of the other 4th of July activities were cancelled… and being able to experience a once in a lifetime comet wit my son from the Blue Ridge Parkway was pretty amazing.

(Nikon D850 and Lensbaby Velvet 28, Lensbaby Composer Pro II and the Edge 80 Optic)

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to travel much due to COVID, so I planted flowers as a means to pass the time. I had no idea just how much I would love it and look forward to seeing the flowers every morning.

August

Sunflowers, slugs and sand. I am truly lucky to live in an area with wide open spaces where we can easily enjoy so many of the wonderful things that nature has to offer.

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Velvet 56, Composer Pro II with Edge 35 & Edge 80 optics)

Sunflowers like to take a dip in the pool too, right?

Sunflowers & shadows in the back yard

A little up close and personal with this sluggish little guy

Sunrise, Sunset…

Emerald Isle, NC

September

This cornfield shot was captured across the street from my house. It is one of my all time favorites.

(Nikon D850, Composer Pro II with the Edge 80)

My beautiful backyard wildflowers.

(Nikon D850, Composer Pro II with the Edge 35 & Edge 80)

Country Roads and Starry Nights

(Nikon D850 and the Lensbaby Omni, Velvet 28, Composer Pro II and Edge 35 Optic)

October

I took a quick road trip this fall through Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. It was gorgeous. Also, everyone should experience sunrise at Cades Cove, Tennessee at least once in their lifetime.

Cades Cove, Tennessee

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 35 & Edge 80 )

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 80 )

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Velvet 28 )

Sherando Lake Campground and recreation area…. one of my favorite places

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Sweet 30 and Velvet 56 )

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 35 )

November

Remember that waterfall from February? Well here it is again in early November after some heavy rains. See why I find it so magical? Also a shot Afton on the Blu Ridge Parkway and a lovely tree from our local park.

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 35, Edge 80 and Velvet 28 )

December

I could feel the creative rut creeping in as the seasons changed and the last few weeks have been a struggle, so I went hunting for inspiration. I was coming up with nothing and then finally I found an unopened bottle of…..Bubbles!!! I love all of the bright colors and patterns!

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Velvet 56)

Stick season is upon us here in Virginia and with it, the perfect opportunity for some moody shots.

(Nikon D850, Lensbaby Composer Pro II with the Edge 80 and Velvet 28 )

To Be Continued…

Looking forward to a healthier, happier year for all of us in 2021. Thanks so much for supporting my photography and the arts.

If you have any questions about any of the images or any of the lenses and optics, please feel free to message me.

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