So, inspired by my last blog post and JP Caponigro's suggestion of reviewing your year's worth of photos and selecting your a)best, b)2nd best, and c)top 12 photos and then finding common threads among them, I've done exactly that.
My "best" photograph of the year:
I love the power and solemnity in this photograph taken at the edge of the Sahara is SE Morocco this past spring.
In "second place":
Again, power, this time combined with energy. Dancers in Havana this past fall.
In no particular order are the next ten, rounding out the "top twelve" for the year:
Several common threads among the twelve. First - people. All twelve feature one or more persons. Even the last photo which many would consider primarily a landscape photo, is really "made" by the inclusion of the Berber gentleman on his donkey crossing the river. Second, all of the photographs were taken while traveling - seven in Cuba and five in Morocco. Ten of the twelve photos feature musicians or dancers! I feel the energy when I'm around these professionals and it clearly motivates me and triggers the creative juices.
Many of the photos convey a feeling of "power" or "energy," especially those that show some movement through the use of slower shutter speeds. The two black-and-white portraits have an energy of their own and show the importance of the right "light." Both, by the way, used existing light with no added flash. I did convert three of the photo from color to monochrome, with the photograph of the three Berber musicians using a creamtone to add a bit of warmth that I found enhanced the image.
Now, because I find rules and guidelines and suggestions to be taken with a grain of salt, I couldn't help but add two more images to my "bests of the year" recap. Sans people, the first is a color study in the streets of Rabat, Morocco. The second, also in Rabat, is of the ocean (Atlantic this time). THe ocean always speaks powerfully to me. In years past, These top photos would be reverses - 10 or so of landscapes or cityscapes, with 2-4 people photos. Everything would be in color; everything would be f64 sharp. One's interests and vision can evolve over time. This exercise can help you see where your vision and interests are trending and help you set your photographic direction in the months ahead. Journey On!