Sunday, December 29, 2013

Keeper Dozen 2013

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 the quality is significantly lower than in previous years - the personal situation with my father's decreasing health since the start of the year, and his death in July, undoubtedly had an effect. Anyway, here is the 2013 countdown from 12 to 1.

Just like last year, I took the opportunity of the inclusion of a falconer in a fair of old professions near our home last September, to take a few raptor shots. I like this one in particular because of the texture of the owl's feathers, and the contrast with the geometric pattern of the street surface.

This is one of the recurring themes in my photography: taking a picture from a piece of art and turning it into something that is different, yet somehow artistic in itself. This is a close up of a huge paper sculpture by Machteld Wijlacker, exhibited at the Zwolle Museum. The shapes and the various shades of grey make the shot look like a modern painting.

A typical winter scene in the old city of Kampen, our new home. As usual with these spur-of-the-moment shots (taken while walking the dog in the evening) the main challenge is to keep the hand still enough given the relatively long exposure time. 

This is a close-up of a sculpture on display in a local garden, which was made accessible to the public one weekend. I like how it turns into a abstract this way - a piece of art quite different from the original one. 

An image that is typical for many of my shots: I was walking with our dog to the local supermarket one winter morning, when I spotted this little scene behind a partially fogged-up office window.

This photograph is a set of traffic lights, reflected in the waters of the river IJssel in walking distance from our home, with added intentional camera movement. One of the few shots of mine that reached Flickr Explore in 2013.

A bit of an experiment. When we had a parade of marching bands through the street where we live earlier this year, I took a lot of shots leaning out of the second floor window. Here are five of them, combined into one in Picasa, resulting in an impressionist view of the event. 

This is a photograph I took at the Kampen market, shooting my wife's silhouette as she was shooting her shadow on the market stands. Via the link you can see the original on Flickr, which is the better version.

This is a detail of one of the columns of Kampen's most important church, which was completed in the 15th century. I upped the contrast and the colours to get a fascinating abstract. 

This summer, there was a live concert with dancing a stone's throw away from our home. We took part, but in-between I played with my camera. This is a digital combination of four shots taken from the same point - resulting in an almost ghost like image. One of the few in 2013 to reach Flickr Explore.

Another case of spotting the photo opportunity many would miss. This is an extreme close-up of one of the headlights of a vintage Peugeot truck, that was on display in a Bocholt shopping mall. The result is an image that hovers between pure abstract and evoking insect shapes. 

For want of better, my picture of the year. Another example that is is typical of the way I use my camera: picking up subjects that most people would not see. In this case, I zoomed in on the detail of a decoration of a Japanese restaurant in Nijmegen, resulting in an abstract composition.