“Your most important gear is your eye, heart and soul.”
For several years, I have taken time at the end of the year to assemble a group of favorite images I created throughout that year. This year, I not only chose images, but I took time to think about
why I included the images I chose.
I created a slideshow of my favorite images. You can view the slideshow here.
It did not surprise me that many of the images are nature images. Although I have gone on to explore many other subjects with my photography this year, nature photography continues to be extremely important to me.
I have always had a special interest in rocks. It didn’t surprise me that two of my choices include rocks. The first rock image was taken on the beach of Lake Superior this summer. The variety of colors and textures fascinate me.
I took the second rock image at Pictured Rocks during a sunset cruise. I will make a separate post about this special place in the future.
One of my final nature images in this collection is of one of my all time favorite nature subjects, the sunflower. Each summer, I spend several days in the summer heat photographing in the sunflower fields located near my home. Each year, it becomes increasingly more difficult to create images different from the ones I have already created. This year, during one of my visits, the wind was blowing steadily. I decided to embrace the movement of the wind to create something new (for me).
In 2019, I explored a darker processing style in some of my nature images.
In April, I had the opportunity to visit Washington, DC, while the cherry blossoms were at peak bloom. It was an amazing sight. I enjoyed combining nature with the monuments in DC.
What surprised me the most about my choices for my favorite images of 2019 was the number of photographs with people in them. It wasn’t too long ago that when asked what I photographed, my reply was anything but people.
Part of this transformation occurred while working on my personal photography project, 900 Days of School. In this project, I take a picture a day every day during the last five years of my teaching career.
I created one special image for each of my students in the 2018-2019 school year. The image was built around something each child loved or brought to school.
It was this image, taken in the spring of 2019, that got me excited about exploring portraiture.
In 2019, I had the opportunity to photograph events. By far, the most important event I photographed was an engagement. The engagement I was honored to photograph was the engagement of my son, Jeremy, with his future wife, Abi.
In June, I was able to spend a day photographing at the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. I was thrilled to capture this sweet moment shared between two of the dancers.
This summer, I got to take a trip of a lifetime to visit a lifelong friend, Larry, who lives in Israel. While there, we also took a trip to Jordan.
I was delighted to find this colorful scene while exploring my friend’s neighborhood.
The sand artist image is my favorite image taken at Petra. This image takes me right back to a most incredible place.
Once school was back in session, I continued my pursuit of art and photography. An exhibit of the works of Van Gogh and artists who inspired him came to the area. I love this image because of the light, the colors, and the eye contact between Van Gogh and his viewer.
Although I have not done as many composites during the summer and fall this year, I did enjoy creating a composite to celebrate Halloween. I enjoyed photographing all of the images needed to create this and then assembling the image using Photoshop.
Although I love to travel for my photography, life has me spending more time at home now. I always enjoy photographing the leaves as they share their magnificent display of fall color. This year, I discovered, that you don’t have to drive far from home to create images of the beauty of fall.
The end of 2019 has been a whirlwind of life and emotion. I felt this image captured it perfectly.
The year of 2019 allowed me to continue to explore my love of nature, experiment with different post processing techniques, embrace photographing people, and share my experiences and travel through my images.
I expect that I will continue to see many of these things in my imagery of 2020. I have decided to make 2020 the year that I learn to shape and control artificial light and explore more with portraiture. I am excited for the challenge.
If you take time to look at your favorite images of 2019, be sure to take time to consider why you chose them and the patterns that you see in your selections.
I am looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring: in life and as viewed through my eyes and lenses.
Wishing all the best year ever in 2020!