Thursday, December 30, 2010

10 Best Photographs of 2010 by Scott Thompson

2010 was a great year for Scott Shots Photography. Perhaps one of the biggest positive changes was the remodeling of my website, I love the new look and it should be easier for you to navigate. I've been very busy with my commercial photography services and many of my images were licensed for use in magazines and websites. Print sales have been a little slow this year but I didn't do any art shows this summer so it's to be expected.  As planned, not doing shows created more time to get out and shoot more photos, and boy did I get some good photos this year. I wanted to share what I feel are my top 10 photos I shot in 2010. I hope you get as much enjoyment from viewing them as I got from shooting them.

I had a lot of fun this year shooting from my kayak, above is one of my best. It's currently featured on my website's home page. I want to get out and paddle every time I see it.

This reflection of aspens that turned out to look like a painting was shot during a long hike to Marlette Lake.  My art training started with painting and drawing and I've always been attracted to photos that look like paintings.

I've been trying to get more photos of the historic town I live in, Truckee, CA. Here's a nice one in fall that needs to be on the cover of a local magazine...

I've been getting back into doing more "abstract" fun shots. This one is part of a series shot in Reno entitled Painting Reno with Light.  See what a couple shots of tequila during a shoot can do to a photographer?

I added more photos to my very popular series, "Beauty at the Bottom". This one of a Casa Noble tequila bottle spread like wildfire all over the internet. It was a big hit among my tequila industry friends. 

One of my all time favorite photos, this one was shot while loading up my friend's boat after a fishing adventure. I turned around, saw the moon, grabbed my camera, and left my friend to load the boat by himself... (sorry Pete.)

This lupine patch near Tahoe City rarely lets me down. I visit here every year and this time, I got an incredible sunset above Lake Tahoe with the flowers. Maybe one year I'll remember to bring bug spray...

Another cool photo from my Kayak. I brought my son out with me to catch this sunrise on Lake Tahoe. Although he originally didn't want to go, he said he had a great time seeing the sunrise on the water. (I might have left him there if he didn't enjoy seeing the scene above...)

Ahh, my most viewed image of the year. This special lunar eclipse happened on the Winter Solstice. Links to it quickly spread through the internet, it was posted on a popular photo blog, and prints sold.  I was amazed at how well it was received by viewers.

This one just made it, shot it yesterday morning. I've been wanting to get a nice snow covered Christmas tree photo for quite some time but I'm usually too busy this time of year or I avoid the roads as much as possible during the big storms.  It was photographed in the town I live, Truckee, CA.

Well, there's my top 10 photos for 2010. I shot many other great ones, perhaps I missed your favorite... If I did, please comment and let me know.  I hope 2011 brings me many more great photographic opportunities, and I hope I can continue to entertain your eyes.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts and for sharing links to my photos on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy New Year! Cheers to an even better 2011!

-Scott Thompson

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse on Winter Solstice photo 12-20-2010

It's late, my toes are still cold, but I got an incredible photo tonight of the Winter Solstice lunar eclipse. All day I thought I was going to see clouds and snow instead of the moon so I didn't bother leaving the house tonight. But I got lucky at the last minute, the clouds cleared, and I saw the whole eclipse happen from my driveway. I feel very lucky to have seen it as I have noticed on Twitter and Facebook that a lot of my photographer friends saw only clouds. It was the beautiful red color I had hoped to see. A pine tree made a good foreground and it helps show the actual color of the moon is indeed a reddish orange. Well, here it is:

"Total Lunar Eclipse on Winter Solstice 2" This very special total lunar eclipse was photographed on 12-20-2010 in the Tahoe Donner area of Truckee, CA. 

CLICK HERE to view print purchasing options or to license, download, and use the image right now.


Wow, this image has gone viral and has quickly become the most viewed image on my website. A big THANK YOU to everyone who shared it or "liked" it.

I've been asked for the technical information on the shot, here it is:

Photographed at 11:52 pm pacific, on a Canon 5D Mark II with a 100-400 lens set to 400mm. The camera was on a tripod, using mirror lock up and a shutter release cable. Settings were ISO 800, aperture set to f16, and it was a 4 second exposure. I used a flash set to manual, full power, to light up the snowy pine tree a bit. Processed with Adobe Raw, with minimal and normal adjustments, the eclipsed moon really was that red.

Tip: I found that any exposure longer than 4 seconds did not work well. The moon moved too much and it looked blurry.

If you have any other questions about the photo, please feel free to ask!

More photos of the eclipse: