2015: A Look Back – My Year in Photos


Well, it’s the end of the year. Which of course means here are my favorite images I shot during 2015. Some were easy to pick, some were not. Some may not be technically perfect, some may not be well composed, some may have crappy lighting, but here are some of my faves of 2015. For more images, visit my gallery 2015: My Year in Photos.

It is hard to pick my favorite photos of 2015, and making it harder is that I like to shoot sports, weddings, portraits, news, and landscapes with equal vigor. When I shoot, I put in all my skill and more effort than required. For me, having my name attached to it means I put my all into it. This is not just a hobby of mine, but a passion. Prints of these or any of my photos are available for purchase. Click on the photo so it can take you to the gallery where you can buy a print of your favorite image.

Grueling Take Down

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

I like this photos because it shows the moment of impact when the three opposing players tackled the ball carrier. The strength is shown in their arms, the struggle to move the ball up in his face, and the power of the tacklers. It has a face, a moment, framing, and the ball.

Blood Moon Rising

The full Blood Moon rises over a saddle near the peak of Mount Shuksan as seen from Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

The full Blood Moon rises over a saddle near the peak of Mount Shuksan as seen from Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

For this and the other photo of the rare “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse, I met some friends and we went up to Artist Point near Mount Baker. While waiting, I also shot the trumpeter and the alpenglow reflection. Where we were shooting from gave the perfect angle of the Moon rising over the saddle as well as it being directly over the peak of Mount Shuksan. This one is my favorite as the light was balanced. The mountain still lit by the bright western sky and the Moon were close in illumination.

You can purchase prints here: Blood Moon Rising 1

Love Wins

Ellen and Sandy sing to each other during their first dance on their wedding day Saturday July 25, 2015, in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography

Ellen and Sandy sing to each other during their first dance on their wedding day Saturday July 25, 2015, in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

I love shooting weddings documentary style. Sandy and Ellen hired me to photograph their wedding because they loved my documentary style of shooting. This is my favorite photo from the entire set for multiple reasons: the backlight adds drama, a quiet poignant moment, and balanced composition. We became good friends and I bought them a nice huge canvas of this photo as a gift.

Maddison Kicking It

Maddison at Boulevard Park during her senior photo session. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Maddison at Boulevard Park during her senior photo session. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

For a special photo shoot, I met Maddison and her grand parents Kim and Michael at Boulevard Park. We were in a lull with the weather and a lot of the smoke from local wildfires settled in our area. As a result, the sunset was amazingly red. We shot a few on the Boardwalk and then went to a small beach for this one. I was testing my lights when she decided to kick the water. I love how this says fun, but is still elegant.

Bubbles!!!

Participants run through bubbles as they approach the finish line during the debut running of The Color Run 5K on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Participants run through bubbles as they approach the finish line during the debut running of The Color Run 5K on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

During the year, I covered about 2 assignments a week for The Bellingham Herald. Sports, features, some news, and a few for Whatcom Magazine. For this image, I saw the bubbles before the race started and shot a few frames to test my depth-of-field and shutter speed as people walked by with the background dark. I liked the result. This was shot as the 5th or 6th wave of runners approached.

The Pitch

Bellingham pitcher Brad Johnson tosses to Ferndale in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Bellingham pitcher Brad Johnson tosses to Ferndale in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Another of my fave sports shots. Super tight with a 400 shot at f/4. The ball, his expression, and timing make this one of my favorites.

Rialto Beach Sunset

The Sun sets over a rock formation in the Pacific Ocean off Rialto Beach along the western Washington coast near La Push. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography

The Sun sets over a rock formation in the Pacific Ocean off Rialto Beach along the western Washington coast near La Push. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography

For my birthday, my wife wanted to treat me to a weekend of camping. We went to La Push and camped off Rialto Beach. This was during a particularly beautiful sunset.

You can purchase prints of this image here: Rialto Beach Sunset

Sparks Will Fly

Welder Vee Lacourte of Bellingham welds the base to a stove at the Wood Stone Corporation manufacturing facility on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Welder Vee Lacourte of Bellingham welds the base to a stove at the Wood Stone Corporation manufacturing facility on West Bakerview Road in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday Oct. 8, 2015. Wood Stone manufactures gas ovens used in restaurants and homes throughout the world. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

The assignment for Whatcom Magazine was the local manufacturer Wood Stone Corporation. They custom make all their high-end restaurant stoves. While touring the facility in Bellingham, I saw the welder and mentioned to my guide how it would make a great photo. It just needs more sparks.

Pondering

Christina Keppie during a studio session on Jan 15, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Christina Keppie during a studio session on Jan 15, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

In January, I joined a 8 week portrait class hosted by Don Giannatti. This assignment was to mimic the lighting and style of Yousef Karsh. I had my main light to the right, fill on the left, and a hair light to add dimension.

Spiraling Down

Manseen Sangha with the Khalsa Gatka Group performs with a Jhaal during the annual Ski to Sea Blossomtime Parade on Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday May 23, 2015. Gatka is a form of Sikh martial arts and a Jhaal is a form of weapon. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Manseen Sangha with the Khalsa Gatka Group performs with a Jhaal during the annual Ski to Sea Blossomtime Parade on Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday May 23, 2015. Gatka is a form of Sikh martial arts and a Jhaal is a form of weapon. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

While shooting parades, I tend to weave in and out of the parade line to try to get something other than “I was Here” photos. I followed this troupe about 3 blocks to get something good of these performers.

Shuksan Seeing Red

Earth's shadow begins to uncover the full Blood Moon as it rises over Mount Shuksan as seen form Huntoon Point near Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Earth’s shadow begins to uncover the full Blood Moon as it rises over Mount Shuksan as seen form Huntoon Point near Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

My second fave from that evening. The Moon begins to move out of Earth’s shadow.

You can purchase prints of this photo here: Blood Moon Over Mount Shuksan

Celebrating the Win

Lynden's Morgan Black (4), facing, hugs Jasmine Neria (5) as they celebrate victory over the Black Hills Wolves in the Hardwood Classic regional state playoffs round at Mount Vernon High School on Saturday afternoon Feb. 28, 2015, in Mount Vernon, Wash. Lynden defeated Black Hills 53 to 43 to advance in the playoffs. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lynden’s Morgan Black (4), facing, hugs Jasmine Neria (5) as they celebrate victory over the Black Hills Wolves in the Hardwood Classic regional state playoffs round at Mount Vernon High School on Saturday afternoon Feb. 28, 2015, in Mount Vernon, Wash. Lynden defeated Black Hills 53 to 43 to advance in the playoffs. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

For this photo, I switched to my 17-35 and waited near the team’s sideline. When the buzzer went, I dashed onto the court to photograph the celebration. I like this because you have a face showing elation and the rest of the team celebrating. And with her looking directly at the camera, it seems to invite you to join in their happiness.

Blue For Bellingham

The last rays of the Sun tinge the clouds pink during the blue hour of a stormy Tuesday evening Nov. 17, 2015, on the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

The last rays of the Sun tinge the clouds pink during the blue hour of a stormy Tuesday evening Nov. 17, 2015, on the Boardwalk at Boulevard Park in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

During a particularly windy day in Bellingham, I headed to Boulevard Park to photograph the waves crashing against the shore. Using long shutter speeds of 2 minutes, I was able to make the water look silky smooth. After shooting near the shore, I walked up to the Boardwalk. I captured this after the Sun went down and the lights along the Boardwalk were lit. I like this because of the color and the flow of the image.

Prints available for purchase here: Blue Hour at the Boardwalk in Bellingham

Age: It’s Just a Number

Mary Whitten of Bellingham and other participants enjoy the exercise class Silver Sneakers conducted by YMCA fitness instructor Lesley Jones-Steinmetz on Friday morning Nov. 20, 2015, at the Whatcom Family YMCA in Bellingham, Wash. Fitness instructor Lesley Jone-Steinmetz says the tri-weekly class helps senior citizens with their physical fitness, balance, and injury prevention. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Mary Whitten of Bellingham and other participants enjoy the exercise class Silver Sneakers conducted by YMCA fitness instructor Lesley Jones-Steinmetz on Friday morning Nov. 20, 2015, at the Whatcom Family YMCA in Bellingham, Wash. Fitness instructor Lesley Jones-Steinmetz says the tri-weekly class helps senior citizens with their physical fitness, balance, and injury prevention. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Just a fun shot of senior citizens exercising. Just a balanced and fun shot.

Celebrating the Finish

Participants and spectators celebrate finishing the debut of The Color Run 5K during the after party at the Bellingham Public Library in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald

Participants and spectators celebrate finishing the debut of The Color Run 5K during the after party at the Bellingham Public Library in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald

In August, I shot the debut of The Color Run in Bellingham. I was warned about how bad the dust is on your gear, how it will ruin it and you should cover it. Yeah, I did. Somewhat. For the afterparty concert, I climbed on stage. The perspective was great and the morning Sun backlit everything beautifully.

Trumpeting the Blood Moon

Pace Rubadeau of Bellingham, Wash, plays as the Sun sets during a lunar eclipse over Mount Shuksan in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Pace Rubadeau of Bellingham, Wash, plays as the Sun sets during a lunar eclipse over Mount Shuksan in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

While waiting for the Moon to rise during the lunar eclipse, we heard a trumpet being played. I turned around to see this. My camera was set on a tripod for Moon shots, but I just whipped it around, adjusted my exposure to 1 stop under, and shot this. The shutter speed was 1/6th of a second.

Prints of this image available for purchase here: Trumpeting the Sunset

The Struggle is Real

Shorewood junior Devan Kirk (1112), left, and Arlington junior Eric Acero-Rosas (20) battle for 8th place during the Sehome Invitational Cross Country meet at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday Sept. 12, 2015. Kirk was award the position.

Shorewood junior Devan Kirk (1112), left, and Arlington junior Eric Acero-Rosas (20) battle for 8th place during the Sehome Invitational Cross Country meet at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday Sept. 12, 2015. Kirk was awarded the position. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

One of the things I learned over the years is that the best photos of competitions are not always of the winners. These two were shoulder to shoulder the last 50 yards of the race. As they battled it out, the referee (on the left) kept tabs. I like this image because of the battle between the two and the referee’s expression. Your best images are not always from the winner.

Alpenglow on Shuksan

 The last rays of the setting Sun bathe Mount Shuksan as its reflected in a pond Huntoon Point near Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography

The last rays of the setting Sun bathe Mount Shuksan as its reflected in a pond Huntoon Point near Artist Point in Whatcom County, Wash., on Sunday evening Sept. 27, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography

Mount Shuksan over the past few years has become my favorite mountain to photograph. While waiting for the eclipsed Moon to rise, the alpenglow was phenomenal. I like the light, the reflection and the colors of this image.

Prints of this image available for purchase here: Alpenglow on Mount Shuksan

My Favorite Selfie

Shooting a selfie while waiting for sunset from Picture Lake with a view of Mount Shuksan on Friday afternoon Nov. 27, 2015, at the Mount Baker Ski Area in western Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

Shooting a selfie while waiting for sunset from Picture Lake with a view of Mount Shuksan on Friday afternoon Nov. 27, 2015, at the Mount Baker Ski Area in western Whatcom County, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/Paul Conrad Photography)

While waiting for sunset, I decided to play with my radio remotes and strobes. Too about 5 tries to get this shot. Most people don’t see photos of me, so, here ya go!!!

Making the Play

Lynden Christian short stop Dylan Meenk (7) looks to throw to first as he hops over Burlington-Edison outfielder Wes Fleury (24) while he slides into second base during the sixth inning at Lynden Christian High School on Saturday afternoon May 2, 2015. Fleury was called out as the visiting Burlington-Edison Tigers went on to defeat Lynden Christian Lyncs 8-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lynden Christian short stop Dylan Meenk (7) looks to throw to first as he hops over Burlington-Edison outfielder Wes Fleury (24) while he slides into second base during the sixth inning at Lynden Christian High School on Saturday afternoon May 2, 2015. Fleury was called out as the visiting Burlington-Edison Tigers went on to defeat Lynden Christian Lyncs 8-0. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Ever since I saw a photo of Ken Griffey, Jr., in the air throwing the ball to 1st as he straddles a runner sliding into 2nd base, I wanted to capture a baseball shot like that. Baseball is one of the hardest sports to photograph, but I love to shoot it. I love the challenge of anticipating plays, choosing the right shooting position, and being able to get a good action shot.  With baseball, you can literally sneeze and miss a play. So you have to be on your toes. When I was in college, Washington Post sports photographer Jonathan Newton told me some simple advice: be patient, learn the game, anticipate, then wait.

For more of my fave images from 2015, visit my gallery 2015: My Year in Photos.

Prints are available for purchase in paper, canvas, and metal.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section. Don’t forget to sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is a talented and skilled award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

Advertisements

3 comments

Please Feel free to Leave a Comment. Links to Your Work are Encouraged

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s