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Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009…

January 2, 2009

Ahhh, the invigorating feeling of the beginning of a new year.  In the last week I’ve thrown out bags and bags of great stuff junk I’ve held on to for way too long.  My scanner has been furiously scanning the mounds of paperwork my inner-pack rat deemed too important to throw away and the shredder is making confetti from the hard copy.  Yes, it’s the beginning of a new year.

To many, 2008 was tough.  The terrible economy, housing-market issues and unemployment have contributed to an economic year without parallel since the time of the Great Depression.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to take young lives and seem to have no end.  On a personal note, 2008 was a year that brought too much sorrow, fear and anger and is one I want to quickly put behind me.  This is one New Year I looked forward to watching the crystal ball fall in Times Square ushering in the promise of better times to come.

But 2008 wasn’t all doom and gloom.  Because of the exponential rise in the price of oil, the country was forced to look at alternative methods of energy and the reduction of our reliance on foreign oil.  (Hopefully, the recent collapse of oil prices won’t change this!)  Although certainly controversal to many, our government leaders passed bills to shore-up the banking and auto industries (hey, at least they acted!).  Most of all we saw the historic election of our first African-American president.  Regardless of politic affiliation or view of party policy and objectives, we all must recognize the significance of this historic event.

For me, it was a year of significant changes in my photography.  After winning a spot in the first Aperture Nature Photography Workshop, I journeyed back to lovely Jackson Hole, WY to shoot with the pros and learn about Aperture.  The experience was the photographic-highlight of the year (darn near the overall highlight of the year) as I met some extraordinary people and made some fantastic friendships.  Since, Aperture is the go-to program for cataloging, key-wording, importing, exporting and development (plus a host of other features).  Quite simply, it’s changed my entire work flow and I’m loving it.

I have a lot of high-hopes for 2009.  In January, I’m shooting a wedding at the amazing Doral Country Club in Miami for a good buddy and his beautiful wife.  After, we’re on a cruise to the Western Caribbean.  I’m hoping to post many new images from that trip.  In early Feb, I’m heading back to Miami to help shoot a 500+ person martial arts competition.  I’m hoping to get back out West later in the year and potentially a trip to Bosque del Apache National Park.  I’m also now shooting for America’s first zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, for special events and stock photos.  It should give me an excellent opportunity to develop my wildlife techniques while staying local.

On the teaching front, I’ll continue to present at the Lansdale Camera Club from time to time.  Stay tuned for my upcoming class schedule.  I’ve got the location secured and I’m developing the coursework.  Feel free to email or comment about the subjects you’d be interested in learning about.  Of course I’ll continue to post here.  In fact, I’m shooting for at least a post per week.

To everyone, I thank you for your support and wish you a very Happy, Healthly and Prosperous New Year!

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