I did not make it before the year's end so let's start the New Year with a photographic recap of the one before. A wonderful spring road trip, a great summer trip to the Czech Republic, and many local expeditions, all full of photographic opportunities to preserve the memories.
What's in the grid? It starts with the road trip to Arkansas. Along the way, we had an opportunity to drive Route 66 again and that's something we do not turn down. Then Table Rock Lake with it's many boat marinas and a sometimes even rental offices on the water. Further south, Beaver Lake and Hobbs State Park offered many hiking trails and natural and historic sites for the camera. The Van Winkle Historic Site at the edge of the Beaver Lake seemed like a paradise. The trail was short thus there was not much hiking to do but the natural beauty was intense there with the West Fork Little Clifty Creek flowing into Beaver Lake. Next a trip to Buffalo National River, established in 1972 as America's first National River. Being just a 1-day trip this was more of a scouting expedition for a future trip than a thorough exploration. Still, we managed two hikes and saw that the river as well as the surrounding area are true natural wonders well worth their protected status. All along we had an opportunity to stop at and explore the wonderful small towns of Arkansas. Eureka Springs was definitely a gem.
In my photography I usually stay away from photographic gimmicks but once in a while they provide a nice change of pace. In 2020, I had an opportunity to photograph a roll of Adox Color Implosion film, which definitely yielded unique photos. I also tried cross-processing E-6 slide film in C-41. It was also the year of Lomochrome Metropolis. In 2021, I continued to play with Metropolis but have to admit I struggled finding suitable opportunities for that film. I also tried Lomochrome Purple for the first time. It's definitely an in-your-face type of an effect with no subtlety but I rather liked it. Not a film I'd use all the time but I liked that it provided a change of pace as well as gave old subjects new looks. I spent time with it in nature and next up are cityscapes.
Next up the beautiful little country of the Czech Republic. For the longest time the country had no official abbreviation. Now, for couple years, Czechia has been an approved one but I really don't like it and am sticking to the full name. We hiked in the Beskydy Mountains and their Radhošť Peak. We explored more medieval castles including Helfštýn, Karlštejn, and Konopiště. And we visited several historic cities including Kroměříž, Holešov, and Praha (Prague). While this was between Covid waves its impact was quite stark. The touristy places lacked tourists. They were not empty but significantly below the normal levels. And we had some areas just to ourselves. While that was great for us to explore it definitely placed small businesses relying on tourism under stress.
As every year, I also made sure to photographically explore and document the home front. And I took it even closer to home this time and while still venturing to Buffalo, NY quite a bit I photographed Orchard Park, NY even more. I also gave in to GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) in the second half of the year after a long break and could not resist the pricing of Minolta cameras on Facebook Marketplace. For $30 one could get a great camera with a lens. And that range held for both the old manual line up as well as the newer auto-focus cameras. The good news? The cameras and lenses needed testing and the home front was the best place to do that!
I used to do a combined collage of color and black and white photographs. For 2021, I decided to change things up and create one of each. You've seen the color one today and the black and white one is coming soon!
Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy
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