Month: December 2013

Looking back at 2013

2013 was a fascinating year for me, on balance one of the best years I’ve survived in the last decade. It was also a year of transitions. My photography has been in transition. In 2013 I shifted my wide angle work from Canon to Fuji, and so far, I really love the result. Beyond that, though, my work in general has been shifting from trying to take good and interesting images to trying to take good and interesting images that help to tell a story or share something with the viewer. Conceptually a simple change, in reality, the devil is in the details — and a lot of it boiled down to “I’ll know what it is when I find it”. A lot of my time and energy in the last year or so has gone into figuring out what it is. I’m still not sure I know — but I know where to explore and experiment. That’s enough of a direction for now, and we’ll see where it takes me in 2014. The blog got a complete redesign, a major upgrade to the underlying guts, a new hosting server with more power and a growth path when I need it and a major edit, taking it from > 2000 articles to < 1000 as I removed obsolete and crappy content and tried to focus it on better material...

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Birding in 2013

It looks like my birding year is more or less done, I don’t expect to get out and do any significant birding until the new year. My year list closes at 191 species, highest since 2010. A small number for many birds (it looks like the big year record has just been broken at an unconfirmed 746 species) but it’s about where I expect my birding to end up. I’m not a birder that chases rarities — twitch — or go out of my way to build the list count; I tend to return to a smaller number of locations because I enjoy watching how they change over the seasons; to me, birding is a recreation and a relaxation, not a competition, so my lists are there just to see what I did, not something to drive what I ought to be doing. There’s no right or wrong way to bird, it’s whatever makes you happy. My preference is to go out and relax and have a good time and see what happens. That said, you can gain understanding from looking at the information in the lists, and they can help you plan for future trips. Since I don’t travel much, most of my birding is local to home — Santa Clara county (102 species), Merced (94), San Luis Obispo (78) San Mateo (59), Monterey (48) were the top...

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