2012 Year-End Post-a-Palooza

It's always a good idea to look back before heading forward. So as is tradition, we end 2012 with a rundown of your favorites (and mine) from the past year.

As is not tradition, and because of a special circumstance, this likely will not the last post of the year. Pics, posts and an explanation, below.

First, the special situation. As some of you already know, I spent the first week of December in Hong Kong this year at the invitation of Kai Wong of DigitalRev. If you don't know who that is, check out some of their previous work here.

Needless to say, it was (a) quite fun, (b) a little bit dangerous, and the video evidence is scheduled to post before the end of the year. I'd tell you more, but they'd have to kill me. Stay tuned.

My Faves

Below are my favorite posts of the year, in roughly chronological order. And with no particular criteria, other than these were the entries I most enjoyed on the site. If you missed any I hope you enjoy them, too.

(Links will open in a new tab.)

Bailing on the Nikon D4
Oh, No—It's the Cops…
Caleb Jones, Redux
Your Camera is a Visa
Opera Night in the Woods
On Creativity
Learning to See Light: Blue Hour
Let's Talk About Knockoffs
Smokin' Joe
On Photographing People

Your Faves

But being of the most democratically benevolent of mindsets, we always like to acknowledge your favorite posts, too. Here they are, in reverse order, as ranked by readership. (Even if, as above, I did not technically write some of them. Like, for example, #7, #4, and, um, #1.)


10. Back to Basics: One Big, Top Light
9. With Apologies to Zack Arias
8. Lighting Inside the Box
7. On Photographing People, Pt. 3
6. Ryan Brenizer's Panoramic Portraiture
5. Bailing on the Nikon D4
4. On Photographing People, Pt. 2
3. Always Bring a Model Release...
2. Nikon D600: Think Twice
1. On Photographing People, Pt. 1

Heading Over to the Light Table

Tenney Mason, my first DOP, was a big fan of taking a moment at the end of the year to examine your recent work. Twenty four years after my first full year as a staff newspaper photographer, the habit still holds.

If you haven't done so, I recommend pulling together an edit of your favorite photos from the year. No other criteria, just your favorites. They could be work pictures, family pictures, whatever. It is an instructive exercise and will usually tell you something that you had not previously considered.

For instance, mine showed me how important it was to just keep a camera with me as much as possible. Half of my favorite photos came from my ever-present Fuji X100 or my iPhone.

So here they are. Some you have seen, some you haven't:

(Alternate link for mobile browsers)

So, that's my 2012. Thank you so much for being a part of it. I am optimistic about the next year. In fact 2013 is already shaping up to be potentially very interesting. We'll have to see.

As always, I invite you along for the ride—and I'll see you one more time before the end of this year.


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Blogger Wedehase Family said...

David, I've only discovered your blog this year, but I'd like to thank you for a great year. I've come to realize that my photography skills mature/advance in spurts. It's not a linear growth line. The last few months have been the largest growth I've had since I was forced into photography 13 years ago. I'm 100% self taught, so a resource like the one you provide here is priceless to me.

I'd like to offer some encouragement in regards to the popularity of Ms. Lando's posts. Yes, they're amazing. That's why you shared them. They're also a great side dish (alternate main dish?) to what you provide for us all, day in and day out. Your blog is technical, and your readership is extraordinarily equipped in this area because of it. So, when something of a slightly different nature comes along... human interaction and personal relationship... it's a new topic to which many of us are again downgraded to complete newbie status, and so it becomes a new "shiny" for us all to gawk at for a post or three.

I trust you know how great your blog is. I shovel-fed myself 101 and 102 as fast as I could chew. Then, I used your monthly drop down menu to roll backwards through your blog, reading every single entry. In 4 months, I think I've made it back to somewhere in 2009 by now. All that is to say you have what I feel is the best blog on the entire Web, and thank you for also sharing Ms. Lando's wonderful insight, too.

December 26, 2012 12:48 AM  
Blogger Andreas Breunig said...

Great post, David, and great selection of your stunning work! I will take up your idea of a "favourite pictures of 2012"-portfolio.
Alone this year, I have learned so much from your blog in terms of lighting but also about photography in general. Thank you very much for all the effort you put into this site! "Lighting in Layers" was definately the best christmas present I've received this year! All the best for 2013 and greetings from Germany, Andy

December 26, 2012 2:28 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Batchelder said...

This is my first full year of Strobist. I got my first flash in December of 2011 and I now have several flashes and photo blog I just started. David Hobby it was your work that sparked my interest in photography. You opened my eyes not only to the Strobist style but also to the beauty of photography and for that I am forever grateful. It is because of you that I am now able to study photography in college and one day (hopefully soon) pursue a career in this beautiful art.

Thank you,

December 26, 2012 3:33 AM  
Blogger Gaz said...

It's been a pleasure being "along for the ride" over the last year. Looking forward to the next one. Best wishes to you and your family from the UK.

December 26, 2012 5:48 AM  
Blogger Nas said...

Happy holidays.

Did you get rid of your Canon G12 or whichever model it was? I remember that being a favourite of yours a while back.

December 26, 2012 6:32 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

..and I still haven't seen some of your favorites. Your favorite images aren't displaying from my Android phone.

December 26, 2012 7:23 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


My G12 has been passed along to my wife. I have fallen in love with the legitimate chip-packing Fuji X100 as an everyday camera.

December 26, 2012 11:06 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


THanks for the heads-up. The flash-based Flickr gallery was not displaying on the mobile template. I added a link.


December 26, 2012 11:07 AM  
Blogger Reid Bowie said...

Whoa! Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera?? Can't wait to see what they gave you. Had problem with my iPhone flash setting off my lights the other day, maybe they strapped you with an old RAZR of something?!

December 26, 2012 11:30 AM  
Blogger dave moser said...

thank you for another year at the helm, mr hobby.
please, a link to the post where you photo'd the guy in the data center. can't seem to find that searching data center, can't seem to click back to older posts at the bottom of the page of posts... call me a doofus! thanking you

David Moser

December 26, 2012 3:53 PM  
Blogger Ron Nabity said...

Hey David,

Thanks for another great year of education, inspiration and fun.

I saw your post this morning after I had just wrapped up my own year-end collection of photos. Check them out at http://www.nabityphotos.com/Bestof2012/

Looking forward to another great year in 2013!


December 26, 2012 7:43 PM  
Blogger PK said...

As an amateur, I love the blog, love the faves. I've been reading for about a year and have learned so much! It has also changed how I make my Christmas list, because I want all the cool equipment. I really like the last fave of Hong Kong from across the harbor. I was there several years ago and would love to return just to photograph the city. I'm looking forward to what 2013 brings. My first goal is mastering Photoshop.

December 26, 2012 8:04 PM  
Blogger frederick said...


Some sweet snaps in the Post-a-Palooza. Hard to believe it has been another 365 days. It is hard work to be a consistent blogger. You do it well and I sure enjoy your work! Nothing better in the mornin' than a no-foam latte, a mondo bran muffin, and some new content on strobist.blogspot.com.

Happy New Year,


December 26, 2012 10:47 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

If you click the link there is a drool-inducing trailer of the Strobist episode.

December 28, 2012 10:10 AM  
Blogger Jennifer McKay said...

Any chance you will revisit Micro 4/3 this year? I just got my Olympus OM-D and think it's quite amazing.

January 03, 2013 2:18 PM  
Blogger David Hobby said...


Nope. I am in love with my Fuji X100.

January 03, 2013 5:58 PM  
Blogger Anthony Read said...

Happy new year! Thank you also for your work on this site for the last 12 months like other posters I've avidly consumed all the content here and am always impressed with the quality and level of detail you share.

Looking back at my favourite pics of 2012 they are nearly all done with speedlites.. given I didn't own any speedlites at the end of 2011 , that is all pretty much down to this blog and Syl's book.

12 months later I'm up to 2 speedlites and a reflector.. now just need one more and a diffuser to be like Tri-Flash McNally ! :)

January 07, 2013 10:36 PM  

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