My Favourite Photos from 2016

A belated Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2017 is a good year for you and a better one for the world in general.

I thought I’d start off the new year by posting some of my favourite photos from last year. They’re a mix of landscapes, portraits and street photos and there are a few images here I haven’t shared before so I hope you like them.

2016 was a pretty good year for my photography. I had several sales, started doing some portraits and in general I think my photography improved a lot during the year. I had a few setbacks as well – most notably a broken foot which has sidelined me for a while – but overall I’m pleased with how the year went and I’m happy with how all of these photos came out.

My main photography goals for 2017 are to keep improving and testing myself and to increase my exposure locally. I’d also like to experiment more with using flash creatively – which probably means buying another flash, so we’ll see!

I hope you enjoy the photos. How was your 2016?

Sitting by the Tree

The Two CJs by the Tree

Lights, music
Gifts under the tree:
Another Christmas
Has come again

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today. I hope you have a wonderful day with much joy and laughter and have a peaceful rest of the year.

I took this photo last night for a bit of festive fun. I was trying to think of what I wanted for Christmas, then it hit me – I could really use another pair of hands around the house, so I asked Santa for a clone. My wish came true!  Thank you Santa. 😀

CJ and Friend

I took this one too which was fun. We have three of these mice, they’re very cute. And mischievous as you can see.

CJ by the Tree black and white

And this one too. I try to do a photo in front of the tree each year. I like how this one came out in black and white.

Merry Christmas. I’ll have my annual Aussie Christmas song posted later tonight as well. 😀

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016

Sunset Reflections

Purple Reflections

Reflections stretch
Across the lake
As I sit and think
About the world

I took this photo a couple of days ago. It was the day after the US election and I went down to the lake in Belmont to try to clear my thoughts.

I’m not going to say too much about the election as I plan to touch on it in a Q&A post soon but I will say that Trump’s win shook me a bit. Obviously I’m an Australian and not directly involved but the US sets the cultural tone for the world and affects all of us; we often say that when the US sneezes, the rest of us catch a cold, and that’s why we were following the election closely too.

It was an extraordinary result but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that many of us aren’t concerned by it and that was my immediate reaction. Not just because of Trump’s rhetoric but particularly because internationally we have little idea of what to expect from a President Trump and his presidency leaves the US-Australia Alliance, NATO and the future of the Asia-Pacific region up in the air.

So yes, like everyone I was a bit shocked by the result and as it continued to dominate the news the next day, I felt like I needed to clear my head and try to get away from it for a while. So I went down to the lake for the sunset.

It was a beautiful sunset and I just sat and watched it for a while as the sky turned a beautiful shade of purple and the reflections started to stretch across the water. After a couple of minutes I set my camera on my tripod and took a couple of long exposures to try to do the scene justice. This was one of them and I’m happy with how it came out, particularly the vibrant colours.

I felt better for my time by the lake. It was very peaceful and I think sometimes it helps just to get away from the world for a little while and not think about things too much. This definitely did that for me.

Sunset

I saw this woman walking her dog by the lake a little earlier as well and took a quick photo. She spent quite a few minutes standing there, watching the sun go down. I guess maybe she was reflecting on things too.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016

Tai Chi by the Lake

It was a lovely day today and I went for a walk along the lakefront this afternoon to take a few photos of the sun setting over the water.

While there I spotted this man practicing Tai Chi. He was very graceful and a lot of people stopped to watch him as they passed by.

I watched him for a while too before snapping a couple of photos. It’s not something you often see around Belmont so it was interesting to shoot.

I like how the photos came out, particularly the black and white one. I was trying to capture some of the energy and grace of his movements and I think they convey that quite well.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2016

CJ by the Lake

CJ by the Lake

Another year has
Come and gone in a hurry:
Time waits for no one

It was my birthday today. I turned 32.

It feels a bit weird, saying that. 32. I don’t really feel 32. But then I never really felt 18 or 25 either. I guess they’re all just numbers to me in the end.

The weather was beautiful earlier and I went down to the lake for about an hour in the afternoon. I took this photo while I was down there. I try to take a photo on my birthday each year and I thought this would be a nice one with the yachts in the background.

In taking it I set up my camera on a table overlooking the lake, then positioned myself and triggered a timer with an app on my phone. I love how easy wifi makes taking portraits like this these days. It’s all right there on your phone, no bulky remote trigger required!

Father and Son

I also took this photo of a father and son while I was down there. It was a nice moment and I like how it looks in black and white.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

I’ve Opened a Store!

My Etsy Store

Just a quick note. From time to time I get emails from people who like my photos and want to know if they can buy them or if there is a way to help support my blog. Until now I’ve mostly done all of that via email but hopefully now I won’t have to…

… because I’ve finally opened a store! 😀

It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while and after getting another few emails recently, I thought now was a good time to give it a try.

I’ve set it up with Etsy and for now I’ve added a selection of my favourite photos and will be adding more soon.

All the photos are digital files so people can print them themselves or through a printshop (saving money and time on postage). Or alternatively they can be used as wallpaper, printed on canvas or however else someone wants to use them.

Each photo is $5 and I thought that was fair given they’re digital files… about the same price as a cup of coffee. There’s also a 20% discount for buying 3 or more.

I’ve called it Shutter & Pen to match this site and over time I plan to add some pieces of my writing as well, like my haiku printed on some of the photos and possibly an ebook I’m working on.

Anyway it’s all set up now so if you’d like to check it out, I’d love to know what you think.

I can also do special one-off orders so if there’s a particular photo you’d like that isn’t there yet, just let me know. 😀

Sunset 17/08/2016

Sunset 17/8/16

Another sunset
Another day nears its end:
Time goes so quickly

The sunset over the lake was lovely this evening. The light and colours were beautiful, that dreamlike quality you only get on a nice warm day.

I had my camera with me and took a couple of photos. I felt like being a bit creative with the photos so I took this one looking through the trees for a bit of a different perspective.

Sunset 17/8/16

And I tried to give this one a bit of a vintage look to make it a little different too. They both came out pretty well in the end.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Pelican on the Lake

Pelican on the Lake

Walking by the lake
I stop to watch
A pelican
As the sun sets

I spent a couple of hours in Valentine this afternoon, walking around the wharf and lakefront with my photography group. It was fun and good exercise to boot.

I haven’t gone through all the photos yet but I liked this one of the pelican. I really love the silhouette and the beautiful golden light. I thought I’d stuffed the shot up at the time as I hadn’t checked my settings but it came out pretty well in the end.

And yes, if you’re wondering, I named the pelican Mr Percival. Of course. 😀

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016
Like this photo? Click here to buy it for $5

Through the Trees

Through the Trees

The sun and the moon
Dance forever in the sky
As times marches on

The sun setting through the trees this past Monday afternoon.

It was a lovely sunset; the light was stunning, particularly off the water, and it was a nice way to end the day.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016