Brent's 2016 Self-aggrandizement Photography postLinks to this post
Brent's top 10 photos of 2016:
There are several reasons why I might include a photo here. Some of the photos may look they don't belong in a "best of the year" post, but they may be important to me for other reasons. Some of these are my favorite composed shots of my favorite subjects. Some of these are interesting effects while overcoming challenges to get a usable photo. Here we go in no particular order:
Tex's World Famous BarBQ - Nashville, TN
Every Day, Flickr has a formula to pick the top 500 photos uploaded that day. Those select photos belong to "Explore" and when a photo makes it, it gets several hundred extra views plus a few extra likes. I spent a couple of days at my company's downtown office, and one day on the drive home I found this old neon sign which got me into Explore.
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q neon sign - Decatur, AL
My second photo to make Flickr's Explore was also a neon sign of a BarBQ restaurant.
Pulpit Rock - Berlin, TN
As I scour the entire mid-state looking for places to photograph, I love to find the off the beaten path places. It's even better if it used to be a very important spot, but now nobody knows it's there anymore. There may be no better example that this rock in a very small town park.
The most noteworthy event in my home of Smyrna this year was the plane crash of Blue Angels pilot Jeff Kuss. In honor if Kuss, the Davidson County Courthouse in downtown Nashville colored it's lights in Blue Angels Blue and Yellow. I was outside dealing with a thunderstorm to get this photo.
My family got Nashville Zoo passes this year. I was fortunate to show up a couple of days after the Gibbon mother and Son went out on public display.
Good lightning shots can be difficult, but this one was a photo highlight of our family beachfront vacation to Panama City Beach.
My third photo to reach Flickr's explore was also a neon sign. This one was a laundromat in Huntsville. Neon signs did very well for me this year, especially on Pinterest.
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
This one was a fulfillment of an item on my bucket list, more than it was a great photo. This iconic and elusive vehicle made a stop at Franklin's 4th of July celebration
Davidson County Courthouse Old and New
The county courthouse in Nashville makes a second appearance on this list. At the beginning of the year, I upgraded my camera equipment with a real wide angle lens. This view would not have been possible without one. With my previous lens, I could not entirely fit the building on the left in one frame.
This last one is certainly more important to me than it would mean to anyone else. In January it was a beautiful day when the NHL All-star game festivities came to downtown Nashville. I had a fun day even though there was a mob of people. At the same time, something about this photo clicked with me and I now see sunlight reflecting off windows in a different way.
Other 2016 accomplishments:
In 2016, I was finally published in National Geographic! I have often thought of them as the pinnacle of photography. But, did they use my best photo? No, they used a silly photo in a kid's book about famous fails. I guess I need to go actually find that book now.
As it turns out, my other photo to appear in a book was also a children's book. The other one was a book about Major League Baseball star Nelson Cruz. I took a photo of him as a minor-leaguer who came to visit the Nashville Sounds. It must have been the cheapest photo they could find so they wanted to use it.
I did have some serious photos make it onto TV. Knoxville station WBIR used some of my photos of the Whitwell Holocaust Museum in this story. Then, WBIR did a story on endangered historic properties and my photo of the Dandridge courthouse was used.
Other accomplishments include getting a tetanus shot after stepping on a rusty nail in front of the Decatur, AL historic train station and getting a cease-and-desist order from a security guard at the federal courthouse in Knoxville. My company also took me on a tour of Ryman Auditorium as well as the new Nashville Sounds ballpark, so I was able to photograph both of these places without spending my own money. The strangest subject of the year may have been Pinky and the Brain graffiti in Knoxville.
Now that the best photos are out of the way, what can Brent bore everyone with?
This may be the part where you stop reading. I am a professional number cruncher, so this kind of thing is my cup of tea and probably not yours. I record it for posterity sake.
In 2016, I took more than 18,500 photos. About 17,000 were of my son. (Not really.)
Most of my publishing-worthy photos are uploaded to flickr. I now have a total of 9,259 of which about 370 were uploaded in 2016. These photos have been viewed collectively 10,304,620 times. During 2013, Flickr changed what's considered a "view" making more things count than what used to. As a number cruncher, this irritates me, so 1.5 million views in 2016 doesn't mean as much as it used to. (By comparison, in 2012 I had about 500,000 views.)
2010 was the first year of my website, SeeMidTN.com. While my hit counter only shows 6,028, I could be a little disheartened. Apparently a lot of people are finding content on my website via google searches and not seeing the home page. My webhost's stats show last year I had 15,200 unique visitors who made 24,933 visits viewing a total of 112,2651 page views with 546,486 total hits (the stats exclude the 100,000 hits by robots / spiders / crawlers). the website used 13.01 GB of bandwidth. 46% of visitors used Windows which is going down a little every year. 47% people browsed with Chrome and 2 people used the old-fashioned text-based Lynx browser. I set up a Facebook account which now has 75 followers and a twitter feed with 65 followers. These were set up as a set-it-and-forget-it tools that re-post my other content, but still has room for growth.
In 2015, I set up a Pinterest page which for the most part pins my popular flickr photos. I also have a couple of boards where I pin my favorite photos taken by others, so this is going to skew the data of my original content. Pinterest tells me I have 855 pins on 15 boards. My most popular pin was the Acme Feed & Seed neon sign which has 72 repins.
The highlight of my website is the daily blog. Blogger.com's count of page views reports I had 270,334 page views in 6 years, with about 42,000 in 2016. I wish I could find the page where Google lists the searches people typed in to find me. Mostly, so I could look at the weird ones. Yesterday, one person typed in "olive pit allergy" and got to my site.
I also have a YouTube channel. Most of my good videos are recordings of my dad's early music groups, but nothing really uploaded in 2016. All-time, I have 629,894 views with 27,341 in 2016. The most popular video has always been "What a Friend we have in Jesus" which was recorded in a 2007 reunion concert of 70's chorale students. That video has 37,693 views all-time but only about 100 in 2015. A new stat they offer: In 2016, My videos have been watched for 31,300 minutes. The most watched video is a recording of "Salvation has been Brought Down" recorded at the Diana Singing.