Friday, January 4, 2013

My Top 12 of 2012

Judging my own Top 12 shots must take in as many factors as possible - not merely the best executed technically, which is perhaps the least part of it, but I had to find twelve shots out of the over 2000 I had taken last year with qualities of life, spirituality, humour, and warmth which I alone am able to see and describe in words. So here they are:

To me, this has a strong Spiritual narrative, about how puzzling this life can be - there is a strong light that draws you to something, but no door to enter in, and it's an upward climb, also with something unknown and foreboding that can't be fully seen, but you know it's there. (Film, Pentax Spotmatic SP1000)

This one shows a beginning of how I wish to change my view of the world through the lens during the year to come - getting closer to the Spirit of things, like seeing how all these blades of grass still stand green and full of the breath of life, in spite of a foreboding background that suggests death and the end of it all  (Film, Olympus Trip-35)

This one represents a technical breakthrough because it best shows how I've finally learned how to use my EOS 7D. It may not sound like much, but this shot is simply spectacular, and reveals that I've fine tuned my camera correctly.  (Digital, Canon EOS7D)

 This is one of the best photographs I've ever taken, and shows me what can be done with Medium Format, and that in spite of it's challenges, I need to keep the 120 roll-film format as a big part of what I do.  (Film - Rolleiflex Automat)

This one is significant because it shows a new photographic direction that is emerging from me.  (Digital, Canon EOS7D)

This is in my Top 12 for 2012 for two reasons - this was the church of my childhood, being demolished in this photo. Also this shows the unmatchable capability of Medium Format film (Film - Rolleiflex Automat)

This is in my Top 12 of 2012 because it so strongly convinces me that film photography is so very good! Film is the photographic art's "oil paint" fluidity, whilst Digital is more like "acrylic paint's" cutting edge crispness - one as good and valid as the other, but so very different. (Film - Pentax Spotmatic SP II)

 I spent a lot of my childhood in this Church Hall, and it is now torn down. Perhaps the strong dark and light contrast also shows how fleeting such lucid moments can be for a photographer. (Film - Pentax Zoom-90)

Again, this shows the unmatchable beauty of Medium Format film. I've shot this scene many times, but never had this kind of beauty come out of it, with it's oil-like fluidity and realistic colour! (Film - Rolleiflex Automat)

So many reasons for this one... what are the chances of all this coming together at once? I didn't even see the crow when I took the picture. I volunteer at this Federal prison in Dorchester NB, and this is dedicated to all the men behind the wall - may they too, like this crow, soon have the freedom to fly over the moon, to rise above the full "lunacy" of this place... to once again be whole! (Digital, Canon EOS7D)

This was a milestone for me to ask a total stranger to pose for a picture. (Digital, Canon EOS7D)

This one is my most successful Street Photograph  (Digital, Canon EOS7D)

There were other good photos - probably hundreds, but to find twelve that carried some special significance beyond the click of the shutter, looking beyond mere technical goodness was not easy. We all need to bolster our own efforts so it becomes much more than how well we use a camera, or how adept we are at Photoshop. My hope is to build upon what I've discovered with these twelve through the new year. Happy 2013 everybody!

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