Top Ten (favourite) Images of 2016

This is the second annual list of my favourite images from the past year.  I started last year after seeing the great images of many other photographers featured on the great blog site of JMG Galleries. While I was not able to make as many images as I had hoped in 2016, I did manage to have some interesting and new experiences. Here they are, in no particular order:

bw fog trees
It’s all about the light

Living on the west coast of Vancouver Island offers so many opportunities to make captivating images of nature. It’s easy to wander along a beach or into the woods and see something different every time. In the photo above, the fog was slowly lifting and the sun lit up the scene in a way I just had to capture. Converting the image to monochrome evoked just the feel I was looking for.

man taking pictures on a beach during sunset
Everyone loves a sunset

Sometimes you travel a little bit farther for something special, like the above image of a man taking a cellphone photo at sunset, on a beach in Tofino, BC (one of my favourite places to get away from it all).

bubbles in the ice on a lake
Frozen Bubbles

Just around the corner from me is tiny little Poirier Lake, which has trails around it and a little dock.  I was lucky enough to visit it on one of those rare days when it had a little ice on it.  Just next to the dock there were little groups of bubbles that had formed and I thought in this particular group of bubbles was particularly intriguing.  It seemed to hint at the shape of an animal paw/foot, and the fine powder on the bubble just left of centre had interesting patterns on it.  It’s one of those things that if I hadn’t stopped to take a close look, I wouldn’t have seen and I doubt anyone else would, either, as the weather warmed up and the lake was ice free before sundown.

pinwheel looking lights of a ferris wheel at night
At the Fair

Some of the images here made the list in part because I was trying out different techniques than I normally use, or just plain trying to be more creative.  One of these is my image of the ferris wheel at the Luxton Fall Fair.  I had tried a variety of different techniques to capture the motion  of the rides and/or add some intentional camera motion and most of those images seemed pretty standard to me.  This one I combined a couple things and loved the final result.

ornate brass door hinge
Details Matter

Sometimes you just have to make images with the camera you have with you, such as the image above.  This is a detail shot of a brass door hinge (rotated 1/4 turn counter clockwise) on the Grand Mosque in Constanta, Romania.  In this case, I was on a work assignment in the area and did not have my DSLR or any of my film cameras with me, but I am very happy with the results I was able to get using my iPhone.

man standing with two hats
A Street Portrait

I am most comfortable making photographs of nature, landscapes, cityscapes, or even abstract subjects, so something like a street portrait was a bit of a stretch for me.  The gentleman here was kind enough to pose for a photo I made using a century old Ensign camera and black and white film.  Using the Ensign sparked the film bug in me and I have since blown the dust off my old Canon AE-1 and acquired a Hasselblad 500 EL/M.  I am by no means abandoning using digital cameras, but going back to film and even getting back into film development has really got me excited and feeling inspired.  I now have a dedicated film scanner and am looking at experimenting even more… keep watching this blog for more updates on these experiment.

young girl standing in the rain
Smiling in the Rain

Having a satisfying experience with street photography, I continued to expand my comfort zone and when the opportunity came to make some family portraits, I was up to the challenge.  The weather on the day did not cooperate, but adjustments were made and I really enjoyed the photo session.  In fact, the rain, lit by the fill flash, even added a distinct look to some of the images and gave them a more ‘authentic’ wet… I mean West Coast look.

a yellow boat floats in front of an apartment building
In the Bay

Every year, for the past several years, I have joined in the local area Kelby Photo Walk and always enjoy mingling with other photographers and strolling along for a few hours of photography fun.  This year the one I participated in was in Oak Bay and I found this cute little yellow boat, gently floating on the water, which had tiny ripples on it, while there was an imposing concrete apartment building and dark foreboding clouds in the background… I loved the contrast.Remembrance Day CanadaRemembrance Day has a very special meaning to me and I wanted to make an image that would be simple & respectful.  I chose use the poppy we wear in Canada for Remembrance Day, against a dark background and tried to light it in a way to make it stand out.  I almost never use text on any of my images; however, this was different and I chose a very special poem.  Written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae while serving in the military as a doctor in Europe during WW I, In Flanders Fields has become synonymous with Remembrance Day ceremonies, and always makes me pause and reflect.

christmas tree shaped light display
The Sooke Traffic Circle Light Tree

The year ended with my creative take on the “Lights of the Season“, which was the winning entry in a contest run by Oopoomoo (one of my favourite photography blog sites).  I had fun putting this list together, but had a hard time getting down to the last ten, but that’s a good problem to have.  I know this year the images covered a wide variety of photography genres and I am sure I will eventually have a more consistent type of image; however, it likely won’t be 2017, as I plan of doing a lot more experimenting and expanding my repertoire.

Top Ten (Favourite) Images of 2015

Top Ten (Favourite) Images of 2015

After seeing some fantastic photos from other photographers this past year, my attention was brought to JMG Galleries “Blog Project: Your Best Photos From 2015” and I was inspired to go through my images from 2015 and put together my own top ten list.  The ten photos I chose for this are some of my favourites and cover a variety of styles.  I hope to take some even more creative and interesting photos over the course of 2016 and have an improved batch of top ten photos for next year.  

One thing going through my photos from 2015 has done, is given me the opportunity to see the progress I have made and realize that what I once thought was really good, now I see there is room for improvement in.  It should be a fun year.  I hope you will have a chance to enjoy my posts.

LightedPath
Sunbeams Illuminate the Path on the Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, BC

Early in the year, I took a trip to Tofino and slipped down to Ucluelet for the day, were I enjoyed a hike around the Wild Pacific Trail.  I always find this part of Vancouver Island to be a very special place.

Egg
Empty Shell

On a hike in East Sooke Regional Park at low tide, I climbed up a small rocky island and found this egg shell.  At first I wondered if a little bird had hatched, but I noticed it wasn’t in a nest and there seemed to be some dried yolk on the rock just in front of the egg shell, so I was left believing another creature had lunch.

two ducks flying low over the water
Caught in Flight

Sometimes I like to go down to the waterfront in Sooke and just watch what is going on.  This time there were quite a few birds around, including these ducks, skimming over the water on a quiet morning.

rubber chicken face down on a bottle in a stream
A New Low

Once upon a time… one of my favourite photography sites, Oopoomoo, had a project called the “Chain Mail Chicken“, where they had several rubber chickens that they sent to photographers all over the country, to photograph and tell a story about.  I had been on the list to have one of the chickens visit me, but it flew the coop before it arrived and I never had the chance.  Not satisfied with this outcome, I met Henrietta chicken, and helped her search for her missing relative.  This was quite a fun challenge, and I enjoyed writing the story of Henrietta’s quest.

water flowing like silk over moss covered rocks at Mary Vine Falls
Mary Vine Falls

As you may have noticed, many of my photos are taken while I am on hikes, including this photo of Mary Vine Falls, near Sooke Potholes Provincial Park.

a group of people row a boat
Where Be The Vikings?

On another trip down to the local waterfront, I saw this group of people rowing what reminded me of a Viking boat, across the calm waters of the harbour.  I liked the look of it best with the selective colouring I used here.

Fisgard Lighthouse after dark with stars in the sky
Night Light(house)

This past summer I had the opportunity to stay after the park closed and take some photos of the park and Fisgard Lighthouse.  There was just enough lighting from Victoria to illuminate the lighthouse and allow me to get the stars without too much movement.

a little girl in a dress spins around in a circle
Dancing Queen

The summer in Victoria brings with it many festivals and I had been at Busker Fest for this particular day.  As I was walking between venues, I saw this young lady in her own world, dancing away with seemingly not a care in the world.  It was almost as if she had planned the shot for me, as she was right in the centre of an ornate circle.

window washer on the side of a building
Hanging From A Thread

Whenever I travel, even for a short day trip to Vancouver, I try and make sure I have my camera with me.  On this trip I had enough time to linger a little near Canada Place, where I saw this window washer seated on a tiny little platform, suspended by a couple simple ropes as he went about his day.

BC Leg
BC Legislature at Night

On a very rainy night in November, I thought it would be a good idea to take out my camera and get a picture of the BC Legislature building.  I got soaked, but kept my camera dry enough to continue working.

As I said, there were a variety of styles and genres of photos here and I plan on continuing to explore my creative side, so I hope you enjoyed this review and will be checking back, soon!