Second Best of 2012

I separate my images into broad categories to help locate them when needed, with some refinements into sub-categories as necessary. So when working on my “Best of 2012” posts, I decided to use these categories (with the exception of the previous post.) As mentioned earlier, two categories remain unrepresented because I didn’t add any images to them in 2012 – those are Beach and Mountain. Two other categories, Mammals/Carnivores and Sunrise/Sunset, were also badly stocked this year, and squeaked out a ‘Best of’ but not a runner-up, and so are not seen here.

So here are the second-place winners in their categories, listed alphabetically.

Giant water bugs (Belostoma flumineum) are wicked freshwater predators – this one is snacking on a snail.

“Stabby The Heron”
More of a favorite than a stunning image, since I love how the beak has pierced the fish completely. The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) wasn’t bothered by my presence, perhaps because I was knee-deep in the river and thus simpatico.

I don’t have to explain anything, do I?
(See also the competitors in this category here.)

Lakes, Streams, Waterfalls
Froth in an eddy of the nearby river, resembling some creation of a barista. Or maybe not – I don’t drink coffee…

Leaves, Plants, Trees
“Schedule Conflict”
I think the image expresses the incongruous weather early in the year; this photo actually comes after my first bee & flower shots. The light angle produces most of the detail, which is why I stress its importance so often.

Reptiles, Amphibians
“Green Day”
The green anole (Anolis carolinensis) really was over my head, so this is a natural perspective, and one that shows the scale detail quite nicely.

Scenic, Abstract
Just dewdrops – some acting as lenses, some well out of focus. Leaving the aperture wide open prevented any hexagonal or octagonal shapes from the bokeh.

Science, Miscellaneous
It all just seems to come together for this image – diffuse light from the softbox, angle of view, and a cooperative pose from the snail.

While full moons are great by eye, closer looks benefit much more from partial phases, where the details and the geography are enhanced by the shadows. It’s easy to tell which craters were filled by lava, and which weren’t. I have to add that this is just a telephoto lens shot, with a Sigma 170-500mm.

So that’s the collection of near-misses for the year. Come back tomorrow for the Best of 2012 images in the final installment of this exercise in ego!

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