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The Year in Review: Top 11 of ’11

December 31, 2011

This is one of my favorite times of year for many reasons. Among them: stuffing myself silly at holiday/New Year’s parties, making big year-end business purchases, and choosing my favorite photos of the year. As 2011 comes to a close, it’s been a bit daunting to go back through 52 Photos of the Week, 133 blog posts, 226 shoots and 80,946 images to pick the 11 I’m most proud of. I hope you enjoy them, and all the best in 2012!

1.

A Green sea turtle swims off the southern coast of Hawaii's island of Kauai

February 8, 2011: A Green sea turtle swims off the southern coast of Hawaii’s island of Kauai.

Who says you need a fancy camera to get a fancy photo? This one of a 5 to 6-foot long sea turtle was taken with a point and shoot camera in an inexpensive bag-like underwater housing. It’s hard to get a sense of his scale, but this gentle giant was huge and seeing him up close was the highlight of my week in Hawaii. [Panasonic LX3 camera in Dicapac WP610 underwater case, 24mm (equivalent), f2.0, 1/500th, ISO 80]


2.

New York Ranger Derek Stepan shows his frustration in a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden

March 1, 2011: New York Ranger Derek Stepan shows his frustration in a 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at Madison Square Garden. — ©MSG

I did not know that hockey sticks were this flexible. Now I do. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 28-300mm L lens @ 300mm, f6.3, 1/250th, ISO 160, strobed]


3.

Jaden the Panther Chameleon shows off her colors to kids at New York Restoration Project's NatureMania 2011

April 22, 2011: Jaden the Panther Chameleon shows off her colors to kids at New York Restoration Project’s NatureMania 2011.

Jaden always steals the show, but there’s something about the abstract background that makes this shot. Couldn’t have done it without my trusty 85mm f1.2 lens! [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 85mm f1.2 lens @ f1.4, 1/400th, ISO 800]


4.

New York Knicks fans cheer on their team in a playoff series against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden

April 24, 2011: “The Greatest Basketball Fans in the World” cheer on the New York Knicks in their playoff series against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden. — ©MSG

After a 7-year playoff drought, the Knicks finally made it to the postseason again. This shot captures just how much that means to its die-hard fans who are hoping that the arrival of Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will usher in a new era of Knicks basketball. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 70-200mm f2.8 II lens @ 70mm, f2.8, 1/30th, ISO 1600]


5.

Neil Patrick Harris, host of the 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre, performs in the show's opening number, Broadway, It's Not Just For Gays Anymore

June 12, 2011: Neil Patrick Harris, host of the 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre, performs in the show’s opening number, “Broadway, It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore.” — ©MSG

Neil Patrick Harris singing in a tux while being held up by a bunch of sailors in a fleeting pose? This was a shoo-in. [Canon 1D Mark IV, 400mm f2.8 lens @ f2.8, 1/400th, ISO 3200]


6.

Colton Satterfield wins the Air In The Square BMX competition in Times Square

June 16, 2011: Colton Satterfield wins the Air In The Square BMX competition in Times Square. — ©MSG

I believe this single image unravels all of Isaac Newton’s research. He must have been studying a faulty tree. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 lens @ 16mm, f3.2, 1/1600th, ISO 500]


7.

The Radio City Rockettes perform a new number, in a new costume, on The Today Show in Rockefeller Center

August 11, 2011: The Radio City Rockettes perform a new number, in a new costume, on The Today Show in Rockefeller Center. — ©MSG

The Rockettes are known for their synchronized dance numbers, and I somehow synced up with them for this brief moment when they were all in mid-air. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 lens @ 23mm, f3.5, 1/400th, ISO 800]


8.

Up-and-coming teen model Sarah P. in downtown Omaha, Nebraska

August 17, 2011: Up-and-coming teen model Sarah P. in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

I love the light here, created with nothing more than the sun reflecting off a 40-inch collapsible reflector and nearby windows in this alley. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 85mm f1.2 lens @ f1.4, 1/3200th, ISO 100]


9.

The 9/11 Memorial and partially constructed Freedom Tower days before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City

September 6, 2011: The 9/11 Memorial and partially constructed Freedom Tower days before the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City.

I very rarely convert photos to black and white, but it seemed appropriate for this one. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 16-35mm f2.8 lens @ 16mm, f4.0, 1/6th, ISO 400]


10.

PLANTERS, in partnership with The Corps Network, Green City Force and the New York City Housing Authority, unveils a new urban park, a Planters Grove, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side

October 3, 2011: PLANTERS, in partnership with The Corps Network, Green City Force and the New York City Housing Authority, unveils a new urban park, a “Planters Grove,” in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

I usually cringe at fisheye photos, but there’s something cartoon-ish and awesome about this photo. I’m sorry for doubting you, fisheye lens. Let’s be friends. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 15mm f2.8 lens @ f5.6, 1/500th, ISO 100]


11.

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella helps his teammates in tug-of-war at the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s Coaches Challenge

November 1, 2011: New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella helps his teammates in tug-of-war at the Garden of Dreams Foundation’s Coaches Challenge. — ©MSG

If one shot could encapsulate the symbiotic relationship between Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation and its partner organizations, this would be it. Learn how you can help by visiting the Garden of Dreams website. [Canon 1Ds Mark II camera, 70-200mm f2.8 II lens @ 70mm, f2.8, 1/400th, ISO 1600]


Bonus!

This photo wasn’t actually taken in 2011 or even 2010. It’s from 1997, and was my favorite image from my earliest days using an SLR camera. Why am I including it here? It’s significant to this year because I used it this past May in a blog post that was featured by WordPress.com on its front page, leading to an explosion of interest in my blog and my continuing series, “How I Became a Professional Photographer and What I Saw Along the Way.” Thanks WordPress! It’s been incredible to hear from photographers from all over the world. [Konica T camera, 28mm f3.5 lens, probably Kodak Plus-X film]

Looking for more? Check out my Top 10 of 2010!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2011 10:56 am

    wow you took 80,946 photos in 2011? I wish I had done that. Amazing.

    • December 31, 2011 12:42 pm

      Yeah, it’s a pretty crazy number, surprised me too when I counted!

  2. January 5, 2012 3:19 pm

    Love the sea turtle photo. I love it even more because it was taken with a point and shoot. Any person can take a good picture with an expensive camera, but a real photographer can take a great picture with anything.

  3. January 9, 2012 4:00 pm

    I love the old black and white shot. Gorgeous.

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