"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop". - Ansel Adams
Like most photographers who share their work online, I too have created a "Best Of" list for this past year, outlining what I consider to be my best shots of the year. This is a tougher process than it may sound like.
You might think you flip through your library, pick the most popular shots (as best as you can recall), and slap them together into a blog post. Not so much. In many ways, asking a photographer which of his or her photographs is their favorite is a lot like asking a parent which is their favorite child. You simply can't choose.
You know why? You love them all, but for different reasons. Maybe the light was just right. Maybe the clouds were perfect. Maybe the feeling of standing there was something you had wanted for a long time. Maybe laying your eyes on that subject was a lifelong goal. Maybe that day had been the best one in a long time. Maybe you were with someone that means a lot to you. Maybe you just liked the color.
When you take all the multiple variables and combine them, you come up with an emotional attachment to any particular image. That image is the manifestation of everything that you were feeling and thinking when you took it and when you were processing it, as well as everything that came before it. It's you, in a sense, presented in pixels.
So that's another way of saying that I love all my photos, even though many of them are not popular, or commented on, or shared, liked, etc. They're a part of me, part of my artistic self-expression. So picking my favorites is really hard...but I did it anyways, because hell, that's the the point of this blog post, ain't it?
And did you notice Ansel Adams says getting 12 is a good crop? I only got 8, though I admit I have a few others I really like, but they don't fit on the single page I created above too easily. So yeah, maybe 2013 was a good crop after all.
But no, I'm not saying I'm in Ansel's league, I'm just pointing out how interesting it is that with all the digital advancements, the volume of images we can and do create, and the fact that I share about 5 images per week, every week, all year...I have 8 that stand out from the past 12 months of shooting. Yep, just 8. Seems rather insignificant, doesn't it? It's not even one per month.
But alas, it is what it is, and I love these plus the thousands of other images I took in 2013. It was a great year and a very productive year, so when I look back on it, I smile.
Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy the shots. (Click to enlarge)