Sunday, September 21, 2014

And the winners are....

The votes have been gathered, tallied, and double checked.   The photos that will be on my 2015 calendar are:

Wild Ponies, 39 votes
Top Pick for 2015
Burkes Garden, 35
Big Red, 33
White Top Sunset, 29
Winter, 27
Old Country Church, 27
Home Place, 25
Bald River Falls, 25
Southern Plantation, 23
Sunrise Above The Clouds, 23
Peacock, 23
Peaceful Reflections, 22
Lambs, 20

Dewdrops was tied for last place with 20 votes.  I had to pick one and decided to go with Lambs because it is so appropriate for the Christmas Season.

A preview of the calendar is available on YouTube.   Click HD - 1080p for the best video quality.  Be sure to have your sound on to enjoy the beautiful music by Gerald Sheppard

I got a number of requests to include The Spider That Ate The Moon in next year's calendar.  It might be too much for some people to see a giant spider on their wall for an entire month.   You might find a smaller version creeping around October.

Each year I am surprised by your selections, which ones are your favorites and which ones you really don't want on your wall for a month.  This year there were 33 photos to choose from.  All were photos I thought were good enough, but some only received 3 or 4 votes from 47 people.   While some photos were not popular they were picked by a few people.  The Wild Ponies was picked by 39 out of 47 people so while it was the top pick there were 8 people who did not think it was one of the best photos.   I am blessed with friends with a broad spectrum of tastes.   It's a good thing I didn't pick the photos myself.

These calendars should be available by the end of October this year.   Send me an email if you would like one or more.  Don't forget to tell your friends about the calendars.  Spread the word and help me support Hope Haven Ministries.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk Comes To Jonesborough Tennessee

Event Hailed as the Largest Global Social Event for Photographers

On Saturday, October 11, 2014, photographers will gather in cities across the globe to capture a slice of life through their eyes during the 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk.  It’s the world’s largest global social photography event in the history of photography itself.  Photographers of all walks of life and skill levels gather together, on the same day to socialize, learn new tips from each other, and explore their corner of the world through photography.  Last year over 1300 walks took place in countries like the Philippines, Iran, India, Great Britain and the United States. This year Tennessee’s oldest town will be the site one of the photo walks.

The Worldwide Photo Walk was founded by Scott Kelby, president of Kelby One and a #1 bestselling photography and technology book author.  He leads a walk each year in a different city and credits the success and popularity of the event to the social aspect of photography. “Photography is usually viewed as a solitary activity, but the truth of the matter is that people love to shoot together, compare notes and just have fun with photography.”

I will be leading the Jonesborough Photo Walk this year and I hope you will join me.   Photography is my passion and I enjoy sharing that passion with others.  I believe spending time with other photographers is the best way to learn and improve your photography skills.   The historic city of Jonesborough provides unlimited photo opportunities.

The walk starts at 8:30 AM and will wrap up around noon.  For those that are interested we will meet for lunch in Jonesborough to share photos and enjoy time with others on the walk.

The best part is the Photo Walk is free.  Just go to the Worldwide Photo Walk site  find the Jonesborough walk, and register. You don’t have to be a professional or expert.  All you need is a camera and a passion for photography. It doesn’t even matter what kind of camera you use, a smartphone will work.  You do have to register online before the walk.

This year, the Worldwide Photo Walk Team is attempting to step up its charity efforts for the Springs of Hope Kenya orphanage in Africa.  Scott Kelby is asking walkers and walk leaders alike to consider a dollar donation.  100% of the proceeds will go to the orphanage - at a very critical time for them.

Anyone who registers in advance is eligible to win prizes from the Worldwide Photo Walk’s sponsors if their photo is chosen as the best photo of the day for Jonesborough Photo Walk. Each winning walk photo is then entered into a global competition where Scott Kelby picks the single “best photo” of the event along with 10 runners-up.

Learn all the details about how to get involved at

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Building A Calendar

Each year I put together a calendar to raise money for Hope Haven Ministries in Kingsport.  Hope Haven is a Christian, interdenominational, non-profit ministry that reaches out to homeless men, women and children who may be impoverished economically, educationally, emotionally and/or spiritually.   Hope Haven doesn't receive any government funding or support from United Way.   Like all non-profit organizations they are in constant need of financial support to keep providing the services they provide in our community.   These calendars are one way you and I can support this ministry.

Photography and sharing photos is my hobby and I really enjoy putting this project together.   It's not a quick process and usually takes several days to get together 25 - 30 candidate photos.   This year I
  1. Selected the 4,620 photos from past 12 months that are wider than tall (landscape orientation) to fit on the calendar pages.  Because I use Lightroom to catalog all my photos this took about a minute.  Would have been about a second but I had to remember how to do this.
    Saved From The Bit Bucket
  2. I then narrowed the candidates down to 165, then 60.   If I thought it is a photo people might like to see on their wall for a month then I marked it as a candidate. This step took a while.  The interesting thing is I selected some photos that I had not touched since down loading from the camera.  I have a lot of these images on the edge between keepers and destined for the bit bucket.   Sometimes something that doesn't catch my eye when I first look at it turns out to be a favorite later, like the one on the right.  Click on it for a larger view.
  3. With June and Holly's help and a couple days we narrowed down to 34.

Is this one in the top 13?

That's all I can do.  It's hard for me to pick any more to throw out.  After all,  I have eliminated 131 from my first list.  I am asking my friends to help me narrow the 34 down to 13 to go on the calendar.  So far 32 people have voted and I'm already seeing some trends.

  • There is a clear front runner - 27 out of 32 have voted for this one.
  • Two photos got only 2 votes each.  Doesn't look good for those two.
  • There are three tied for 13th place with 13 votes each.
  • There are two more with 12 votes each.

How many people would like a black and white photo on their calendar?
As you can see, one person's vote can determine which photos make it on the calendar and which ones are left out. 

The deadline for sending me your vote is Saturday, September 20.  

The winners get announced on Sunday the 21st.  Instructions for voting are on the September 5 blog post.  Drop me an email with your vote.   Oh and let me know if you're interested in buying a calendar. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tanawa Trail Footbridge - The September 2014 Calendar Photo

The Tanawa Trail is a 13 1/2 mile hiking trail in the North Carolina mountains that parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain.  This footbridge is easily accessible from one of the many trail access points along the parkway.  It's been some time since I made this photo, but I think this is on the section of the Tanawa trail that goes to Rough Ridge.

Tanawa is the Cherokee name for fabulous hawk or eagle.  On this day the scene was a fabulous painters pallet of warm fall colors.  To the east the sky was becoming overcast which obscured the grand vistas, but created really nice conditions for taking photographs in the woods.  

There are any number of ways to photograph this bridge.   If you do a google search for Rough Ridge Bridge and look at the images you will see the compositions others have come up with.  I like this angle because it shows off the beautiful arch of the bridge and the stone column in the center.   In the fall the creek is reduced to a small trickle, which shows up as a black section under the bridge.  For the photographers who are interested in the more technical points this was taken with a full frame DSLR, 17mm, f/22.  This image is an HDR image created from three different exposures to capture the brightest and darkest parts of the scene.

This photo brings to mind quiet walks to peaceful places.   The busyness of life can wear us down and we need to get away to these quiet places to recharge.   Luke recorded that Jesus would slip away to a quiet place to pray.   What better place to pray than in the midst of God's creation with no distractions to compete for our attention.

I'll be selling the 2015 edition of my calendar this fall.  For information see the previous blog post -  Stay tuned for more information on how to order a calendar.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The polls are open. It's time to vote for your picks for the 2015 calendar from The Siggins Photography

Each year I invite anyone who has bought one of my calendars in the past or intends to buy one this year to help select the 14 photos to be included in the calendar.  It's time to start the voting for the 2015 calendar photos.

I have picked this photo of the Mountain Home Veterans Cemetery in Johnson City for July 2015.   I want to honor our military veterans for the month of July.

Mountain Home

The fun part is anyone who will buy a calendar gets to help pick the other 13 photos (11 months, plus the front and back covers).  Here's how the process will work.

The candidate photos are available online at   These were all taken in the past 12 months and include photos from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida Canada and South Korea.  The best way to browse through the photos is to click on the first small thumbnail to zoom in on that photo.  You can then use the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to flip through the full size versions.   Send the names of your 13 pics to me at by midnight Saturday September 20.   I will total up the votes and announce the winners on Sunday September 21.

Some people have asked about the price for the calendars this year.   It's the same low price of $15 each.   The best part is all the profit goes to Hope Haven Ministries in Kingsport.  Remember - the calendars make great Christmas gifts, especially for those hard to buy for people on your list.  Send me an email if you want to order a calendar.

Feel free to pass this info on to anyone who might want a calendar.  Anyone who wants a calendar can vote.  

I can't wait to see which photos make it to the 2015 calendar.