Brent's 2015 Self-aggrandizement Photography postLinks to this post
In years past, I've written all the boring stat stuff first. This year, I'll show the year's top photos first and then you can skip over the boring numbers at the end.
Brent's top 10 photos of 2015:
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:
Opryland Hotel Christmas 2015: Guitar D
A photo I took three weeks ago has been distinguished as my most viewed and favorited photo of the year. I never know which pictures will make Filckr's explore for most popular photos, but this one did. I published four different suspended guitar pictures from the Opryland Hotel Conservatory. This was my least favorite one, but the one that others liked. It's now my 32nd most popular, 3rd most liked and 199th most viewed photo of all time.
Cades Cove: Cable Grist Mill
As a family, we went to the Gatlinburg area for a Valentine's Day weekend trip. After all these years of photography, I finally had a chance to see Cades Cove which is the most visited part of the most visited National Park in the country.
Eldorado Motel - Nashville, TN
If you follow my photos, you know I love old neon signs. After spending the last decade driving all around my home town, I thought I had already found every historic neon sign I was ever going to find. Well, these days I can't get out and take photos as often as I used to, which means I need to accomplish more on the days I do get out. I had been meaning to do this for years, but in 2015 I put together a spreadsheet of everything in Tennessee I'd like to photograph, making a list of over 1,000 different places. During my research, I found a brochure for the Civil Rights tour of Nashville. That's where I found out about this fantastic sign for a motel that was recently demolished. It seems like few other people are aware of it. I couldn't go wait to see it, and I did on a day with beautiful weather when the sun was hitting it right.
Cummins Station - Nashville, TN
Located next door to Union station, I have wondered for years how to get a good view of this photo of this place. Finally, I figured it out. A month later, a local company paid me to display this photo in their lobby.
Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ - Nashville, TN
I've driven past this interesting church building many times, never sure how I'd be able to get a good view of it. On this particular day, the sun was just right and no traffic was around.
Conway Twitty Mansion - Hendersonville, TN
CN IC #9613 Locomotive at the Memphis Pyramid
I like trains, but I am partial to train companies I don't see as often. I've got a lot of photos of CSX trains. It took my third trip to Memphis to see a CN train for the first time. And, I could not have picked a better backdrop. I suppose there are plenty of people out there tired of CN trains who would love to see a CSX.
W.C. Crawford General Store - Williston, TN
As I was making my list of 1,000 places to visit, I came across this cute general store, one of the nicest I have seen. It's also in the middle of nowhere, so I had to drive a while to get there.
On a family vacation to Florida, I saw this Snowy Egret. As I west to see how close I could get to it, the bird let me get closer and closer and closer until I was up in it's business.
I had heard that the town of Huntsville, AL was built near a spring. On the day I was in town, I walked all around the town square and surrounding buildings. Then I went to check out the park with the spring. I had no idea the spring was so massive, or that there would be a rock bluff so high. It seems to me that this should be a more prominent tourist destination. The town really is built around the spring as there is a historic bank building on top of the bluff. The town added the fountain and Koi into the pond.
Other 2015 accomplishments:
This photo made it into the opening credits of a TV show, so that it would be seen in every episode. Sadly, Battle Creek was cancelled into the first season.
On the same day Battle Creek first aired, the John Oliver Show used my photo of cloggers.
I made it into the Washington Post. Well, sort of. When the controversy of Nathan Bedford Forrest was at its peak, a Journalist for that paper wanted to use this photo. The photo editor overruled the author and went with a stock photo. Still I was quoted and it was along the lines of "a local blogger says the statue of Forrest is making a facial expression as if he is sitting on a thumb tack."
I sold this photo of a Siamang to a zoo in New Zealand. Along with Europe, I am now published on three continents.
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 2015, I took more than 14,700 photos. That may sound like a lot and it's more than last year, but it's about half of what I've done other years. About 13,000 were of my son. (Not really.)
Most of my publishing-worthy photos are uploaded to flickr. I now have a total of 8,885 of which about 400 were uploaded in 2014. These photos have been viewed collectively 8,853,768 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 2.5 million views in 2015 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 4,975, 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 16,407 unique visitors who made 26,031 visits viewing a total of 217,901 page views with 643,357 total hits (the stats exclude the 100,000 hits by robots / spiders / crawlers). the website used 23.71 GB of bandwidth. 56% of visitors used Windows which is going down a little every year. 42% people browsed with Chrome and 3 people used the old-fashioned text-based Lynx browser. My desire is for the website to grow exponentially, and the more content that gets added, the more visits I should get every year. The goal is for the ads on the site to start paying off someday as well as the increased exposure causing me to be the first person found when looking for a stock photo of a specific place. I set up a Facebook account which now has 71 followers and a twitter feed with 53 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 reposts my favorite 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 792 pins on 15 boards. 11,586 saw these pins in 2015 with 142 repins. My most popular pin was of a Muscovy duck.
The highlight of my website is the daily blog. Blogger.com's count of page views reports I had 228,532 page views in 6 years, with about 44,000 in 2015. I even had hits from Taiwan. 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 "Balloon Darts Knoxville" 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. All-time, I have 583,630 views with 33,337 in 2015. 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 2014, My videos have been watched for 37,895 minutes. The most watched video is a recording of "Salvation has been Brought Down" recorded at the Diana Singing.