Tag Archives: best of

Best of 2017, Photo Style

I’ve been taking at least one photo a day for many years now (I think I started in 2012), which adds up to quite a collection of photos over the course of a year.  I do like to take the time to pick out some “best of” photos from the year, based on my own criteria of course!  (Here’s a link to last year’s collection.) Instagram, where I post my daily photos, offers a #bestnine each year where the nine are determined by the photos that get the most likes.   (You can see mine for 2017 on my Instagram account @kd0602) For me, those are not my best photos.  Instead they are often related to an event that creates some traffic rather than images that stand out for their photographic merit.

It was hard to pick nine “best” photos for 2017. Initially I came up with eleven–but after some careful consideration I narrowed it down and I am sticking with nine!  I went all the way back to the beginning of last year and found myself drawn to this photo of the ocean lighted by winter’s low sun angles and muted by the clouds, creating a colorful sky.  I love the pensive mood it creates on the delightfully empty beach.

moody ocean bo18

My annual trip to Washington D.C in 2017 happened to correspond with the blossoming of cherry trees.  I absolutely love the delicate pinks against the brilliant blue sky.  While I wasn’t there at peak bloom, this was close enough for some beautiful photos.

cherry blossom bo18

Some days my photo choices are limited to something in my house or yard.  Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I took this shot of the lavender plant in my back yard with the bee in action.  The macro effect erases the background, creating a watercolor of greens and browns.

lavenderandbee bo18

All the lifeguard towers that we see during the summer, winter near the jetty not too far from my house.  This composition begged for black and white, a cluster of white towers against the dark of sky and sand.  I feel like there is a whole story in this one image.

lifeguardtowers bo18

A spring trip to Joshua Tree National Park offered amazing opportunities to experience the desert in bloom.  Everything that is ordinarily dry and brown was exploding in color.  And the sky at sunset was up to the challenge, silhouetting the distinctive Joshua tree in its colorful descending light.

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A local man is a regular at the beach near sunset creating enormous, soapy bubbles that reflect the setting sun.  I love this particular bubble because of the swirl of color radiating in front of the light from the sun. This guy encourages kids to run in the bubbles, seeing how long they can stay in before the bubble pops.  I have taken tons of photos of his bubbles, but only a few are this spectacular.

colorfulbubble bo18

As you can tell from the previous six images, many of my photographs are of nature.  But on the 4th of July I found myself captivated by the action of the volleyball players.  I kept creeping closer, working to time the snap of my shutter with the ball centered over the top of the net.  I am in love with the action of this shot…all the way down to the sand puffs under the players’ feet!

volleyball bo18

November took me to the National Writing Project Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.  In spite of full days of conference sessions and meetings, no trip to St. Louis is complete without an opportunity to get close to the Gateway Arch.  Night photography is always challenging for me, I love that I had just enough light to catch the arch as a frame for the cityscape in the background.  Look closely, you can see the American flag off to the right!

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And number nine was taken on New Year’s Eve, just a couple of days ago during a walk on the beach.  I love when the tide is low and the beach is wide.  Obviously, my friend the egret feels the same.  I love the light and color in this image, showing off the vivid greens and reds of the sea grass and algae and the bright white of the egret’s feathers.  If you lean in you might be able to see the brilliant yellow feet of this snowy egret.

egret bo18

I hope you enjoy my best nine of 2017, I’d love to hear your thoughts about my choices…and suggestions as I go into 2018.  And I’d love to see your best of images for the year…feel free to leave a link to your post so I can enjoy your best of 2017!  (Or even best of today!)

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Best Of

Since our Weekly Photo Challenge corresponds with New Year’s this week, what more perfect prompt than taking the time to pick a few of your photos from 2015 for a “best of” gallery to usher in 2016?

I went all the way back to the beginning of 2015 and after a lot of looking picked a few of my favorites.  These first three include a shot of the brilliantly colored produce at the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles, a winter beach scene with kites flying from behind the lifeguard tower, and a dying tulip in the light on my dining room table.

These next three move to the beginning of summer.  The first is one example of my ongoing experimentation with night photography this year, the San Diego County Fair at dusk.  Then there is a sunset photo taken on the summer solstice and a shot taken from a sailboat out on the ocean off San Diego of a sailboat on the ocean off San Diego.

A trip to Chicago created many new memories for my husband and me.  I conquered (or at least faced) a fear of heights with a trip up Sears Tower, viewed the magnificence of the city skyline from another high perch in the Signature Lounge in the Hancock building, and appreciated the natural beauty of a bee at work in Millennium Park.

The beach continues to inspire my photography, my writing, and allows me to reflect and relax. I take photo after a photo there.  Sometimes I travel to other beaches.  Dog beach offered a view that I don’t see at home. A trip to Catalina island brought me up close and personal to this friendly pelican.  And my local beach is always changing.  I found this tractor in the early fall building a berm on the beach to protect against the winter storms.

There is always inspiration at museums…like the reflective lights from the Kusama exhibit at the Broad Museum.  I’m learning to find ways to get beyond simply being annoyed by traffic and long road trips.  Some “out the window” photography allowed me to appreciate electrical towers in Los Angeles.  And there is so much to photograph in December.  I love the red of these tree stands in a Christmas tree lot near Walnut Creek.

So, take some time to take a walk through your photos and assemble a best of collection to share with the rest of us.  (Or, of course, you can shoot a few new ones to create this week’s best of!)

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #onthestreet for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a walk down memory lane and pick a few of your favorite photos to share with us. What constitutes your best of?  What will you learn about yourself and your photography as a result? I can’t wait to see your Best Of!