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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Just a fun shot of senior citizens exercising. Just a balanced and fun shot.
Celebrating the Finish
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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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.