Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Brent's 2011 Self-aggrandizement Photography post

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I am in my heart a number cruncher.  At the start of every new year, I like to take a look back and see where I've been, what I've done and more recently how many people have checked me or my photos out.  If nothing else, I can be very prolific.  I have 1 flickr account, a picasa account, 2 twitter accounts, 3 facebook profiles, 2 websites, 2 myspace profiles and 4 blogs.  It sounds like a lot but some of it I never touch anymore.

I am writing this for myself, mostly for posterity sake.  If you find it interesting, feel free to keep on reading.  Or, maybe you'd like to skip on down to my favorite 20 photos of 2011.  I also did this in 2010 and 2008.

In 2011, I took about 21,800 photos.  I've tried to be more precise in the past, but with MariLynn using the cameras even more these days, it's tougher to keep track.  It's still more than in years past, but not that much more. (especially when you consider how many I wasted at the Smyrna Air show.)

Most of my publishing-worthy photos are uploaded to flickr.  I now have a total of 6,556 of which 1,103 were uploaded in 2011.  These photos have been viewed collectively 1,671,504 times with about 475,000 views in 2011.

flickr has a term called interestingness where they use a secret formula to determine what my most interesting photo is.  My top photo from 2011 is like last year an old motel neon sign.  This year, it's the old Blue Jay Motel neon sign outside of Roanoke, VA.  A couple of months later, the owners took out all the old neon tubing and gave the sign a fresh coat of paint.  Their update either cleaned up an eyesore or took away everything that made it great, depending on your perspective.

Blue Jay Motel neon sign

The most viewed photo of 2011? This Ronald Reagan Mural in Cookeville:

Ronald Reagan Mural - Cookeville, TN

Last year was the first year of my website, SeeMidTN.com. I suppose I should have run the stats to see where I was at, but I was a little disheartened as the hit counter revealed about 1 hit a day. This year was a little better going straight by the hit counter, But apparently a lot of people are finding content on my website via google searches and not seeing the home page. My webhost's stats show last year I had 4498 visitors who made 9906 visits viewing a total of 57426 pages or photos. There were visitors from 75 different countries, so hello to one person in Suriname. My desire is for the website to grow exponentially, and the more content that gets added, the more visits I should get every year. The goal is for the ads on the site to start paying off someday as well as the increased exposure causing me to be the first person found when looking for a stock photo of a specific place. I set up a facebook account which has 22 fans and a twitter feed with 11 subscribers. These were set up as a set-it-and-forget-it tools that repost my other content.

The highlight of my website is the daily blog. After two years, the hit counter says I've had 13,947 visitors. While I don't have the specific number, over 10,000 of those were in 2011, so it has grown exponentially. Blogger reports I had over 29,000 page views in 2 years.

I also have a youtube channel. Most of my good content is recordings of my dad's early music groups. All-time, I have 378,448 views with 94,927 in 2011. The most popular video has always been "What a Friend we have in Jesus" which was recorded in a 2007 reunion concert of 70's chorale students. That video had 4,772 views in 2011, or 35,591 views all-time.

My top 20 photos of 2011:

There are several reasons why I might include a photo here. Some of it has to do with it being important to me while not looking like it should be on a post like this to a casual observer, some of these are my favorite composed shots of my favorite subjects. Some of these are interesting effects while overcoming challenges to get a usable photo. Here we go:

The Still Waters of the Piney River

Up until the end of 2010, I had been using point-and-shoot cameras. They may have been the best full-featured point-and-shoot cameras on the market while I was pushing them to their limit, but they were still point-and-shoots. There are some snobby photographers out there who wouldn't be caught dead with a P&S, or some try to be realists and say you just can't make money with one. While I had proven that last part to not be true, if I was going to improve myself, it wasn't going to be until I got a "real" camera, even if it was one 6 years old.

So I got one a good one. At first, it was proving to be difficult. No longer could I let the camera do all the work - I had to make decisions. Gone were some point-and-shoot conveniences. For a bit, I was starting to wonder if I had made a mistake - if I should have stayed with easy. And then I took this picture.

This might be the least interesting photo on the whole list. However, it became a turning point. I had taken a photo that wasn't possible with the P&S camera. While there is more that could go wrong when you have more to figure out on your own, when you do things right, you get a better picture. There was no looking back.

Air Show: Thunderbirds in Precision Flight

The air show came to town this year. As part of their precision routine, the Thunderbirds get so close, they look like they are touching. My brother did me a huge favor by saving me the best general admission seat in the house. He also saved three seats for guys who live for airplane photography. Those three brought maybe $20,000 worth of camera equipment, making my $240 camera body and $90 lens feel inadequate. I won't win any awards, but I still like the results.

Cheekwood: Trains! 1 State Capitol and Southern

Cheekwood trains! My mom is a huge fan of Cheekwood and gets a yearly pass and adds my name to it. Try as I might, I'm not really good with flowers, so there's not much reason to keep going back to the botanical gardens. However, this year they had this great exhibit for kids of all ages. It had model trains and it had replicas of significant Tennessee locations made out of sticks and twigs. Right up my alley.

Old Ashe County Courthouse - Jefferson, NC (Version C)

This is the old Ashe county courthouse in Jefferson, NC. While it might not be the best view of this majestic old building, it's another where I felt my new camera opens my possibilities so much more, with the vibrant colors and the sharp detail.

Murfreesboro 2011 Flags of Remembrance

In honor of memorial day, a civic organization in Murfreesboro fills a field with rows and rows of flags. This one proved to be really popular with my friends.

Murfreesboro 2011 Flags of Remembrance

Taken the same day as the last one, I had to get scruntch myself on the ground to get this one to line up the way I wanted. When I got home, I loved it, the way the color pops and the detail. Again, it made me glad I go with an DSLR now. This might be my personal favorite on the year!

Christ Episcopal Church - Pulaski, VA

I was walking along the streets of Pulaski, VA when I came across the oldest church building in town. I love the blue sky, the red door and the green grass. The open gate gives the place a "come right on in" feel.

Lynnville, TN Depot Museum & Locomotive

I had visited the train museum in Lynnville, TN three years earlier. One of my online photographer friends had just been here and posted a great photo. I got home and looked at my photos realizing nothing worked. (when that happens, it really sticks in my craw, constantly reminding me how I have unfinished business until I can go back.) This day was beautiful. I pulled up and a volunteer was repainting the caboose. I had as much time as I wanted to set up the shot just the way I wanted. Then, all I had to do was wait for a gust of wind to straighten out the flag in the background.

Coca-Cola Mural - Pulaski, VA

I love old coke murals painted on old buildings. This one's located right along the built-up-with-stone bank of the river.

O&W Bridge - Big South Fork (black & white)

Taken during the July 4th weekend, this location was about as far away from home as I had ever traveled on a one day trip. It's quite an obscure spot in the Big South Fork Wilderness where the railroad had built a bridge nearly 100 years ago. The tracks are long since gone, but the state has preserved the bridge and the area as a recreation spot. At the same time, it's an everything that can go wrong did type of day.

It was a hot summer day and I had the AC on full blast in my car. The road to this place is a gravel / dirt road where the tracks used to be. Even though it was only 7 miles from civilization, it felt like it took forever to get here. Have you ever been in a cool car on a muggy day for so long that when you get out of the car your eyeglasses fog up? Now imagine that happening to your favorite camera - the one with the detachable lens and all those pieces of glass on the inside. You can wipe off the one on the outside, but you can't get to the others. So I waited 30 minutes. It didn't get any better. I had my point and shoot in the car and I suppose it's sealed better since you don't take the lens off and I had to use it. But by now, the sun was in the wrong place. It's such a beautiful location. I'm thankful for black and white. (one of the dirty little secrets is you can use black and white to overcome pesky lighting situations.)

Then, I made a wrong turn and got lost on the way home.

Mill Mountain Star - Roanoke, VA

I spent the night in Roanoke, VA earlier this year. The town's most famous landmark is the Mill Mountain Star, which is a large neon star placed on top of a small mountain overlooking the city back in the 1940s. I planned my whole day so that I would be here when the evening sky still had a tinge of blue. I later found out the star has almost always been all white, but it was changed to red, white and blue for ten years in memory of 9/11. It is again all white, and will almost always be from now on.

Sea anemones

So I bought some underwater camera gear and went out snorkeling. Just kidding, but how often does someone take a picture of the lower life forms at the zoo?

Bald Eagle!

Why, it's a bald eagle! This is one of the images I have for sale with a stock photography agency.

Colgate Clock at night - Clarksville, IN

I like old neon! This is a huge neon clock built in 1908 and you can see what time it is across the river in downtown Louisville. I first saw this in downtown Louisville when MariLynn and I took a trip here about 10 years ago. On this day, we had a hotel room about a mile away so I could get up close.

Sam Davis Statue at Giles County Courthouse

MariLynn once said I have a trademark photo I always take - The statue in the foreground next to the impressive pinnacle or dome of the landmark in the background - arranged in such a way where they are side by side and both in focus. I strayed from my formula when I revisited Pulaski by putting Sam Davis in focus in front of the fuzzy courthouse cupola.

Patsy Cline Plane Crash Site

The memorial at the Patsy Cline crash site. Looks like this was taken during the day doesn't it? This was after sundown.

Gibson County Courthouse - Trenton, TN

This is my favorite view of my new third favorite courthouse in Tennessee. I have been to 79 of the 95.  (The top two by the way are in Pulaski and Clarksville.)

GT 5848 Locomotive crosses 1st St.

The older I get, the more I enjoy seeing trains. I happened to be right there on foot when this Grand Trunk & Western paired with an Illinois Central crossed the street.

Fort Donelson #7185 - Dover, TN

For those of you that went to David Lipscomb campus school, you probably saw this spot on the trip to Land Between the Lakes. The confederates placed their cannons along the bank of the Cumberland River at the end of a strait stretch. For a long while, no Union boat was able to pass through.

2011 Tennessee State Capitol Christmas at Night

We finish with a Christmas Tradition, the TN State Capitol colored red for Christmas.

The last thing I'd like to mention is my favorite self-portrait, which will grace my Facebook timeline for a while: Me at the Rockabilly Highway mural in Selmer, TN.