Saturday, December 31, 2011

Keeper Dozen 2011

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." This year did not stand out in terms of inspiration to say the least - for a variety of reasons. Sill, I managed to select 12 shots that I am at least reasonably satisfied with. Here is the countdown from 12 to 1.

12. Psychedelic
We kick of with one of my favourite themes: creating abstractions from water reflection shots. This Pollocky abstract was created in front of my eyes by autumn coloured leaves of London's Regent Park reflecting in the water. Six faves at Flickr, and probably my most popular traditional water reflection shot of the year.

11. Winter electrical sunset
Winter electrical sunset
Shot in the park near our home, with a bit more post-processing than usual to really push the colours. I like the interplay with the power lines, leading to the title. Only two faves at Flickr - clearly I think higher of it than most people.

10. I still got the blues for you
I still got the blues for you
Many people at Flickr wondered what they were actually looking at. Well, it is a glass ornament at my brother's place, but with the shot turned upside down for more effect. I particularly liked one comment: "Like a haiku about grey and blue". Also a fitting tribute for Gary Moore, whose song title I used, and who passed away later in the year. Six faves at Flickr.

9. Shanghai stairway to heaven
Shanghai stairway to heaven
One of my favourite shots from this year's trip to Shanghai - which was in winter and therefore yielded less pictures than in years before. I shot this one inside the Times Square shopping mall at Huahei road. I particularly like the dominating golden colours, the various levels of escalators, and the silhouetted figures as a centre point of attention. Three faves at Flickr.

8. Abstraction in reflections
Abstraction in reflections
Abstracted reflections feature regularly in my photostream, the reflecting medium usually being water, sometimes ice. This shot is different: the reflecting medium is the bottom part of a highway overpass, taken from a pedestrian bridge near the People Square of Shanghai in the evening. The traffic lights and car lights reflect to give a great abstract impression. Four faves at Flickr.

7. Kensington street art
Kensington street art 4
This is the fourth (and final) in a series of shots I took on a bridge in London's Kensington district, where the weathered wall structure made for pieces resembling modern art. My favourite of the series, I love the interaction of the shapes and colours. I could really see this hanging in a modern art museum. Three faves at Flickr.

6. Memento mori
Memento mori
This photograph depicts a grave inside a church in Medemblik. Thanks to the diagonal composition, it effectively creates a diptych symbolizing life and death. Although the diagonal as a theme occurs frequently in my photography, this one really stands out as a unique example. Three faves at Flickr.

5. Into the light
Into the light
A fitting counterpart to the previous shot. Strange how things go. I shot this scene in November on a foggy day in the park near our home. I was not sure whether it was good enough to share on the web, but in the end I posted it to Flickr last weekend. It exploded on me, rapidly collecting dozens of faves from fellow Flickrites, and even becoming my 52nd shot in total (but only my 2nd of the year) to reach Flickr Explore, the 500 most interesting photographs of the day. With 59 faves at Flickr (in just over a week...) my most popular shot of the year, and already in my top 5 of all time in that respect.

4. Shanghai patterns
Shanghai patterns 2
Recognition of the potential of patterns is one of the virtues of having a good photographic eye - and I have been told that I have that. This is a shot of a gate in Shanghai, transforming it into an abstract composition that is quite pleasing. Shot with a point-and-shooter rather than my mirror reflex. Faved four times at Flickr.

3. Dragon
A water reflection shot totally unlike any other I have ever taken. It is the reflection of a branch in water, post-processed to b&w to get an oriental feeling - like a Chinese ink painting of a dragon. Rather strong on composition as well, which resulted in an entry in the esteemed composition blog by my Flickr friend Rick (word artist). With 8 faves one of my more popular shots of the year on Flickr.

2. Ye Olde Eye
Ye Olde Eye
This year I have experimented in several shots with creating surreal landscapes by making a modern architecture shot look ancient with selected post-processing. This one is my favourite of the series. It is of course the famous London Eye, as seen from the North bank. The shot itself was nothing special (it is included in the link), but adding a texture (taken from the stream of fellow Flickrite SkeletalMess) really makes it unique. Five faves at Flickr.

1. Abstraction in red and blue
Abstraction in red and blue (lines and curves)
The clear winner of the year for me. I shot this abstract in Leverkusen - can't even remember what it was, most likely a detail of a modern sculpture. It became the first of two shots of mine this year to reach Flickr explore. With 48 faves, my second most popular shot of the year at Flickr.