Hi all. I know I’m well past the statute of limitations here but I’ll say it anyway: Happy 2023!
Last year’s roundup post centered around a new obsession: my Fujifilm X100V. In 2022 I continued to fall down the rabbit hole, purchasing 2 new film cameras and a few new lenses for my Sony mirrorless. I shot upwards of 40 rolls of film (💸) and thousands of frames across both my digital cameras.
Despite taking lots of pictures, I only shared a handful publicly. It’s not a great excuse, but I still haven’t found the right place for them. Instagram doesn’t feel quite right, and neither does Twitter. In August, I got (back) on Flickr and was pleasantly surprised by how little Algorithm you feel there (and a well documented REST API to boot!), but you’ll have to pony up $80 annually if you don’t want ads inserted into your photo albums. Boo. Ultimately I don’t think social media is what I’m looking for.
I built this blog in 2017 and since then it’s been a reliable place to put words (and sometimes images). Still, it doesn’t work well as a comprehensive photo portfolio and is starting to show its age. Last year I started working on a full redesign of this website, one that I hope to ramp up and finish in 2023. Until then, this is what I have to work with. And if I’m honest with myself, it’s more than enough. In that spirit, here are 12 photos I took in 2022. Thanks for being here.
I started the year off in San Miguel de Allende. After recovering from ill-advised shrimp aguachile early in the week, I stomped around the cobblestone streets carrying both my X100V and an Olympus Stylus Zoom I received as a gift the prior year. I shot this photo with the Olympus, of fireworks ringing in the new year over the jardín.
In February, I pulled the trigger on a used telephoto lens I had been eyeing on eBay. I first got into birding in early 2020 after taking a Birding in NYC course over Zoom and had continued regularly since then (especially during spring and fall migration) and having recently inherited an obsoleted mirrorless camera from my grandfather (himself a retired hobbyist photographer), I was excited to document the birds I encountered. This mourning dove I came across on one of my first outings with the new lens, peacefully snoozing all puffed up on a chilly winter day.
In March, I turned 30! To celebrate, I went on a trip to California with my friend Holly. As a present to myself I rented a Mamiya 7 medium format camera and carried it with me in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Joshua Tree, shooting 5 rolls of Portra 400 and some expired Ilford black and white.
I was absolutely blown away by the resolution on the exposures I received back from the lab (a 6x7 negative from the Mamiya 7 is over 4x the resolution of a standard 35mm!). I shortly thereafter started trolling eBay to find a medium format camera of my own.
With April comes a flush of warblers in New York. Most nights I’d go on a walk to Prospect Park with my telephoto trying to capture what I saw. Here’s a few: blue-winged warbler, worm-eating warbler, black-crowned night-heron, ovenbird, scarlet tanager and orchard oriole. This one pictured, a lifer, is a prothonotary warbler I happened to catch word of on [bird] Twitter. I rushed over to the park after work and joined the gaggle of admirers already there.
In May I joined the rest of my family in Dallas to celebrate my niece Rowan’s first birthday. With me I brought a new acquisition (and the eventual result of the aforementioned eBay spelunking): a Mamiya 645 medium format camera. This one shoots an exposure a bit smaller than the 6x7 of the Mamiya 7 (~2.7x the resolution of 35mm, vs 4x) but is a bit more economical, with 16 shots per roll vs a paltry 10. I shot several rolls of Kodak Gold over the weekend, and despite the subject being a squirmy toddler, a decent amount turned out well.
For the rest of the summer I lugged around my Mamiya for the practice, even when it was impractical. I got more comfortable using its light meter and exposure compensation, with faster and more accurate with focusing. In June, my friends Frank and Bernadette moved to Miami with their daughter Zelda. I’m particularly fond of this shot of Frank and Zelda I got with the Mamiya at their going away party.
I visited Maine for the first time over the fourth of July. Holly and I flew to Boston then drove up to Portland, stopping at the Salem Witch Museum along the way. 3 lobster rolls, 2 scoops of blueberry ice cream and 5 light houses later, we proceeded north to Acadia National Park, in Bar Harbor. We hiked the Beehive Loop Trail, known for its steep iron ladders driven straight into granite. I brought along my Mamiya, which I used to take this photo along the way, of a turkey vulture soaring over Sand Beach and the ocean beyond.
At the end of July I left my role at Postlight (an NTT Data Company). I was proud of the work I had done over my 4 years there, but was ready for new challenges. I decided to take a few weeks off before starting my new role (at Observable!) and booked a flight to a country that had long been at the top of my list: Iceland.
I rented a 2016 Dacia Dokker manual transmission campervan in Reykjavik and completed a full circuit of the Ring Road over the span of 10 days. A few favorite experiences: Skogafoss and the hike above, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon boat tour, Drangey puffin tour (!!), and hiking up to see the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption. Obviously, I lugged around my Mamiya (and X100V, Sony, and a waterproof 35mm Canon I bought specifically for the trip), and cumulatively shot 19 rolls of film and hundreds of shots with my digital camera. I plan on sharing more from this trip, but for now you can find my favorite shots here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrichey/albums/72177720305559061.
September was quiet. Here’s a picture of Blue, who this year turned 5.
Twice a year, Observable employees fly to SF for an offsite / onsite meeting (we call it an Obsite 😄). I took advantage of the opportunity and flew a few days early so that I could visit Yosemite for the first time. After stopping at Berkeley Bowl to pick up supplies (and gawk at their mushroom section), I spent 2 days exploring the national park, sleeping in an (unheated) canvas tent at Curry Village. This photo was made with my Mamiya, halfway up the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. The waterfall was dry, but the views were breathtaking nonetheless.
I spent Thanksgiving in Florida with my sister and her fiancé. One day we drove down from Jacksonville to St. Augustine and explored the Castillo de San Marcos, an old Spanish fort built in the 1600s and ate Cuban sandwiches. We also visited the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, which I just now learned is one of Florida’s oldest continuously running attractions, having opened in 1893.
In December, I flew back to the midwest for the first time in 2019. It was a whirlwind trip: 6 days split across Kansas City, Wichita, Alva, and Dallas. Despite the negative windchill, I cherished the opportunity to catch up with friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, as well (as always) as the time with my neice Rowan.
I took the opportunity to work on a project with my grandfather in his shop: a lathe turned salt cellar made of walnut. Though I originally intended to make several and give them as gifts, I totally underestimated the amount of time a 3.5” x 2” box would take and am overjoyed with the one we made. Here’s a pic of the finished product.
Just like my salt cellar, these roundup posts (this one, my 6th!) take way longer than I originally expect. I’ve been working on this one since late December and I have no intention to drag this out any longer than it already is. If you made it this far: thank you. If you didn’t: thank you all the same.
I enjoyed reflecting on my year and sharing some of the photos I took. I plan on sharing more, and more often. I’m still figuring out what that looks like and where it happens, I’ll certainly let you know once I do . If you haven’t already subscribed to my (very infrequent) newsletter, you can do so here: https://tinyletter.com/prichey.
Until next time!