Since picking up a camera seriously for the first time about 5 1/2 years ago, a lot has happened that has been completely unexpected.

Damselfly,Ischnura kellicotti, Lilypad Forktail, mating wheel and reflection on glass smooth waters surface
One of only 94 surviving images from 2008, my first year with photography.

There have been unexpected encounters with wildlife, one so close I could have reached out and touched him as he passed. One such encounter was unexpected, exhilarating, and terrifying, all at the same time, though not close enough to touch, more than close enough!

Close enough to touch
Close enough to touch
Black bear sow with two cubs in the forest. The mother stares intently out at the viewer.
Unexpected and exciting.

I never expected winter to be my favorite time of the year to photograph, nor did I expect to become hopelessly addicted to winter hiking. Scenes like the one below are even more breathtaking when blanketed in snow.

Next time, more snow please!
The first taste of winter in the Presidential Range. Next time, more snow please!

The most unexpected of all? Never in my wildest dreams did I think photography would be anything other than a fleeting hobby, like so many that have come before it. And yet, here I am, writing this blog ( the most unexpected of the unexpected?). I’ve even written an article for the WordPress Photography 101 series.

I have my own website, (didn’t see this one coming either), where you can purchase high quality prints of my best images.

new website, jeff sinon photography, loon

I also have close to 100 prints, mostly large and/or on canvas, in the hands of private collectors. The fact that someone would actually pay for one of my photographs still surprises and excites me, a feeling that hasn’t lessened with time.

I have licensed images for use on websites, of course I have a Facebook fan page, (where I invite you all to be among the first to see my newest work by clicking “Like” and becoming a fan). And possibly the most unexpected, and exciting occurrence to date, this crimson plumed gentleman will be staring back at you from the back cover of the February, 2014 issue ofΒ Ranger Rick Jr Magazine,Β a monthly magazine for kids put out by theΒ National Wildlife Federation. The success of my attempt at becoming more than just “another guy with a camera,” has been quite unexpected.

My first magazine cover!
My first magazine cover!

Last, but far from least, there’s you, my fans, followers, and subscribers. The 1,800+ subscribers to my blog may be small peanuts to many in the online community, but to me it’s huge. Every one of you motivates me to become better at my craft, and keep creating content to earn your continued loyalty.

Thank You!

59 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

    1. Thanks Dorothy! I get that a lot with the cardinal. And to think my wife made fun of me as I dressed head to toe in camo to sit on our deck to stalk the bird feeder. Who’s laughing now I ask? πŸ˜€

  1. Once again I bow down to your incredible skill and accomplishments. You are a perfect example of someone who followed through with what they love to do and made it into something wonderful. I admire you greatly :).

    1. Thank you Cindy. I’ll always remember your comment of a couple of years ago expressing surprise that I was if fact not already a professional photographer. I consider that one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received.

  2. Congratulations, Jeff. From the quality of your photos, you certainly deserve all the accolades of various types. I’ve been close to moose and a bear, as well, and I always remind people (not you) to remember that they’re wild animals, not even remotely close to being domesticated or “nice.” πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work. It’s always a joy to see what you offer to us.


        1. Thank you very much. Yes, really. Of what I’m sure were several thousand clicks of the shutter, there are only 94 image files left from 2008. And I bet half of those could stand to be deleted. Back then I was your typical “spray and pray” noobie, pointing my camera at anything and everything, not really having more than a basic idea of what I was doing. Believe me, I wasn’t always as good as you seem to think I am now πŸ˜‰

  3. It feels good to count one’s blessings, and you have counted them right :D. I have, am and will be following your inspiring work and your adventures. Take care, Jeff πŸ™‚

  4. This is such a heart warming and inspiring story Jeff! I am so happy for you and all the great moments photography has brought into your life. Stunning photos!

    1. Thank you Elina, photography has been very good to me, and not just monetarily. My camera has helped me to see things I had only hoped to see, and in ways that has made me appreciate them even more.

  5. Your pictures are amazing. I love looking at them. I especially like the one of the red bird – I am not surprised it was chosen for a magazine cover.

  6. Now what a wonderful example of unexpected! Your magazine cover shot is amazing … like that cardinal is speaking to us!
    Winter is also a favorite time for me. The opportunities for photography are endless.
    Congratulations on your successes!

    1. Thank you Marcia, that’s one of the best compliments I could get. I know I’ve talked about my desire to become a full time pro, selling prints left and right, but if all I ever do is put a smile on peoples faces, that will be quite an accomplishment in itself.

Comments and thoughtful critiques are always welcome.

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