Friday, December 31, 2010

Keeper Dozen 2010

Picking my 12 favourite photographs of the year has become a yearly custom. It was triggered by a group at Flickr (Keeper Dozen), which was inspired by an Ansel Adams quote: "Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." Last year trimming it down to 12 was a nightmare (I actually created a second set in my Flickr stream for 13-24 end 2009), this year there are quite a few in the top 12 that last year would not have made the top 24. Never mind, here they are:

12. Still climbing
Still climbing
This candid was taken in the castle of the Portuguese city of Braganca. A lovely moment, with lots of potential philosophical interpretations. One of the few candids of this year that I am satisfied with. Of my 12 selected shots this one was the least popular at Flickr. Faved 2 times at Flickr.

11. Hustle
Hustle
Part of a whole series of shots of Paris street life, taken from the third floor of the Lafayette or Printemps department store in Paris (Boulevard Hausmann area), whilst my wife was shopping there. The rain had just stopped, making for a wonderful atmosphere. This one I gave an aftertreatment (focal zoom) with the on-line editing programme Picnik. I quite like the outcome. Not everyone agrees - this was not one of the most popular shots in my stream this year. Faved 3 times at Flickr.

10. The swan
The Swan
I know it has been done before, but still. This is a detail shot of the beautiful Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam, which the locals have nicknamed "The swan". Special point of view and line play, and achieving a good response. Faved 6 times at Flickr.

9. Nightmare
Nightmare
Taking photographs of paintings is in my opinion only valid if you add some ingredient. Here I think the inclusion of a spectator (my wife) facing the full angriness of the depicted figures works rather well. The painting is by Luo Jie, it is titled Angry young men, and was created in 2007. We saw this as part of the Red Storm exhibition in the Rijksmuseum Twenthe. Faved 5 times at Flickr.

8. Paris Patterns
Paris patterns
This was my 50th shot in total to reach Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting shots of the day. It is an architectural detail of a Paris apartment complex near the Champs Elysees, converted to black and white for higher impact. The increased exposure of Explore helped to get it to a large number of faves. Faved 18 times at Flickr.

7. Flight of fantasy
Flight of fantasy
My favourite shot from this year's holiday to Spain and Portugal. Architectural details on a wall of a Barcelona building, resembling toy airplanes thanks to their shadows. Minimalist and special - certainly when viewed on the white Flickr background. Faved 5 times at Flickr.

6. Almere tower abstraction
Almere tower abstraction
My favourite from a series of shots of a new high-rise office building in my home town, where the slant and zoom creates an abstract feeling. Selected for a local exhibition this year, and very popular. Faved 26 times at Flickr.

5. Hand
Hand
This one was taken whilst waiting for my wife and her business associate outside the Louis Vuitton shop near the Champs Elysees in Paris. I had time, a camera, and a mood to experiment with depth of field. Faved 11 times at Flickr.

4. Abstraction in yellow black and blue
Abstraction in yellow black and blue
This photograph is a detail of a bridge I drive over every day near the office. One day I walked there with the dog during lunch break. The combination of the bold lines and the primary colours makes for a compelling abstract. Faved 6 times at Flickr.

3. Cubism
Cubism
This creation started life in May of this year as a straightforward very early morning shot of the buildings I see every day across the lake whilst walking our dog in the park (they have featured often in my stream). I mixed it up digitally with a painting like texture and in the end flipped and cropped to focus on the reflections as a very special abstract. Faved 6 times at Flickr.

2. Dragon's nest
Dragon's nest (Happy Easter!)
A shot I took the Friday before Easter in my brother's home - zooming into a bag of chocolate Easter eggs. My second favourite shot of the year, although it received relatively little response. Faved 3 times at Flickr.

1. Morning mood in the park
Morning mood in the park
My pick of the year. I shot this during an early morning walk with the dog in the park near our home, when the morning fog and the first rays of the sun combined for a perfect moment. It makes a great wallpaper as well. One of the most popular shot in terms of faves, and it won the "something magical" competition at the Flickr group Learn Composition by Example. Faved 24 times at Flickr.

(All fave counts as per 24 December)