Beginner Photography: Best of 2016

Happy holidays! This post is going to be a look back on my photography journey so far this year, as we’ll be reviewing your best of 2016 photos for the live show this week. 

So, this might not be much of a dramatic transformation as I only started this series 4 months ago, but I can certainly say I’ve tackled new projects and stretched myself. I mean, I was second shooter on a wedding! That’s crazy. I found out which genres I’m not great at (landscapes, still life) and some that I was surprisingly good at (spooky, wedding, street). I started shooting with a borrowed Olympus E-M10 with a Lumix 14-42mm lens, which felt like a revelation after using my Samsung smart phone for so long, but now I am feeling limited by my gear again.

I found that I need to work on mastering my camera settings. I still rely on automatic mode a bit too much, I don’t nail focus as often as I’d like. I’m better at finding my shots rather than creating them, I could use to plan more.

So I’m going to post my favorite images from these past few months below, in chronological order:


This shot was taken with my phone, so the settings were out of my control. But the sun was high, so the shutter speed was fast and the ISO was low. I love the mood, the action, and the colors. I feel I successfully captured the joy of children in summer. 



Another phone shot! I could not have planned something like this. Just a beautiful moment I happened upon in the Muir Woods. The light filtering through the trees, the backlighting of that lone stump.


I loved this bright turquoise wall, and I only had to sit for a few minutes to catch someone walking by it. I shot at 1/400th of a second at f/8 and ISO 200.



This is one of my most successful shoots to date, and one that I actually planned out instead of winging. I dressed up my daughter in a vintage dress and applied some makeup to appear dead. I shot behind an old school and an abandoned church at sundown for the mood. The leading lines bring you to her and then off into the darkness. 1/60th, f/4, ISO 800.



This shot is one of my favorites, and it may only be because I know the people in it. I cut off feet, but I love the mixed eye contact, the anxious energy and mood. I was second shooter for a friend who lent me her Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70 f/2.8. It was shot at 1/1000th, f/2.8, and ISO 1250 which is insane. I could have certainly shot at a lower ISO and shutter speed.



Another example of the right gear making the shot. I was shooting with the D500 and a 200-500 f/5.6. This was shot at 1/800th, f/5.6 and ISO 100.



My first attempt at night photography was my most successful. Shot with the Olympus at a 6 second exposure, f/5 and ISO 200.


So those are my favorite shots I took this year. I got to play with cameras I will never own and shoot with really talented photographers. I got to do some travelling and force my family into modeling. I got to practice making art in a way I haven’t in years. I am really enjoying this, and I hope you are having fun watching me try and fail and try and sometimes succeed. You can see all my past posts here.

What do you think I could use to work on this year? What would you like to see me try? What have you learned shooting this year?

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7 Responses to Beginner Photography: Best of 2016

  1. Brett December 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    I applaud you for taking this journey because many people who enjoy Tony and Chelsea can relate to it. It will be interesting to revisit this post in a year and see where you will be.

  2. Roderick December 27, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    Merry Christmas Siobhán, and thanks for all the great “Nooze,Booze n Revooze” shows throughout the year.
    They couldn’t have done it without you.
    For someone who says she’s not so good at landscapes, your forest scene in your travel section is a cracker.
    The mafia wedding and the spooky ghost girl are also great.

    Inspiring stuff, all of ’em.
    In fact, I’ve signed up for a photography course starting in the new year, so in a way, its all your fault ! (joke).

    • mm
      SiobhanKyle December 28, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      That’s great! I bet you’ll have a blast in class this year.
      Thanks for the encouragement, Roderick, it means a lot.

  3. Michael Bevington December 29, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Your “Spooky” shot is really outstanding. I love everything about it and wouldn’t suggest one thing to change. Always fun watching your expressions and hearing your comments during the shows. Nice going Siobhan.

  4. Roderick December 31, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Thanks Siobhán.
    Its been a great year. Chelsea’s indoor drone flying, Tony’s pride at “wrecking that outhouse” and of course, Frank The Cat.

  5. Jeff Nielsen January 4, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    Well, I’ll be..

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