Yes, I have a lot of year end posts (top 10 books, a look back at the year, a look ahead with goals and resolutions, and the year in pictures.) I love looking back at my photos and choosing the best of the year. In 2014 I very deliberately didn’t do Project 365 or any other photo challenges. That worked for me and I still loved photography and took plenty of pictures. Even having my lens die and be without for a while was fun, as I enjoyed using Clark’s good point-and-shoot camera. This year I also hopped on the Instagram bandwagon. This means more phone pictures, which are not always great, but to my surprise I’m enjoying it. Surprise? Who am I kidding? I love the likes/favorites/comments that FB, Flickr, blogging, and Instagram provide.This year I had three pictures picked up for Flickr Explore, which was exciting and led to thousands of views on those photos in a day, such as this one
Anyway, I’m going to use mostly the same categories as last year to choose my favorite pictures. My plan last January was to make this task easier by creating a “Favorites of 2014” album on Flickr. Let’s see if that worked…
best Clark: Looking back it seems like my favorite pictures of Clark were with Paul, or me, or his sister. (I also really liked him reveling in being in Hogsmeade with his wand.)In this case I just really liked this picture of him and Liesl. Liesl adores being held by me and Paul, and really doesn’t mind it when Clark does either. Though in this case her squashed head makes it seem otherwise! I took both b/w and color and just liked this one better.
best Tabby : Tabby continued to love the camera this year, getting in any picture she could. She definitely takes after me when it comes to a big open mouth of excitement, leading to fun moments like this.
One of my favorite moments was this funny face, which I forget why she was even doing, but I remember we laughed and laughed.
A surprising number of my favorites you couldn’t even see her face-it was all about the body language/setting. So for favorite beautiful face (and everything else) I loved her holding Big Silk:
best family portrait: our best portrait was taken by a friend and we liked it so much it went on our Christmas card and also was turned into a canvas. There were lots of other nice group photos like here, here, and here. For a picture that I took though? I like our newest Christmas Day picture:
Bonus family picture: my nieces visited this summer and I took this photo of the three girls, which I loved.
best self portrait: To my surprise I thought there were a lot of nice pictures taken of me this year! If we’re going with true self portrait, most of those were taken with my phone because it’s just easier. I can’t really say I love any of them enough to give them a big shout out here (though I do love this cartoon picture), so I’m just going with my favorite picture of me, taken on my birthday.
best vegetable garden: just like the cycles of the seasons, so are the cycles of photos. It’s a guarantee each year I’ll take close-ups of shoots, photos of pea tendrils, big fat tomatoes against wood, produce stacked up, and of course-the rainbow of ripening cherry tomatoes. And I will still love them each year!
best flower: I was so thrilled with this picture I put it on a notecard. I found the color striking and did not do any color adjustments pre or post.
I feel like peony pictures should be in their own category I always take so many of them. I liked this one for the angle and the petals jaggedy pointing up with the green bokeh background.
It’s very hard to choose because I love all my flower photos!
best action: My action shots are almost always of Clark and either jumping into a pool
or on a trampoline
Of course, Tabby jumps and twirls, too, especially when demonstrating the perfect twirlability of a dress.
best chicken: There were baby chicks this year, so of course they were much photographed whenever their mothers permitted.
I especially liked this one for the size comparison of the 1 day old chick and his mother.
best food: I didn’t seem to take as many food pics this past year and nothing has leapt out at me as the best, most hunger-inspiring photo. However, I do like this. Strawberries on cake are always photogenic.
best nature: While seeing 5 baby squirrels in our owl box was adorable, there’s no doubt that this year seeing the monarch caterpillars go through their metamorphosis into butterflies was a highlight for me. I couldn’t believe that I just happened to actually see and get a picture of the butterfly climbing out of the chrysalis. This probably isn’t the best picture in terms of focus, but that moment is a winner for me.
A bit prettier:
Apart from the monarchs, I was blown away by the beauty of the gorge in Watkins Glen State Park, especially by the organic shapes and patterns in the rocks and strata. Weather made photographing challenging, but I did get a few good pics in before the rain, and really liked this one in black and white.
best Pippin: We had a feeling this would be Pippin’s last year with us and consequently I took pictures of him whenever I could. This picture was my very favorite and I look at it often. I feel like he’s smiling and laughing and having fun with me. It is how I remember him.
best sewing: I worked on a lot of different sewing projects this year and of course every quilt was photographed folded with binding out, and spread out for full view. When I finished my quick and cheerful patchwork picnic quilt I knew immediately how I wanted to take its picture-the field down the street just happened to have new hay rolls, the sky was blue, and the field had daisies growing in it. I staged a bunch of shots and loved this one (So much it became this blog’s banner photo.)
Best All Around: Two of my favorites this year happen to feature Tabby. First, there’s this one, taken atop a mountainous park in Northern NJ. I love the shine and color of her hair against the green, and the image is evocative of childhood.
After our patchwork quilt photo shoot I was goofing around on it with Tabby, trying to get a sweet picture of our heads with some of the color of the quilt. I don’t know what prompted her to put her hand on her face, but it’s what makes this picture. I love her solemn straight on gaze.
Another great childhood photo is this one. Green and lush, with tiny figures exploring a brook. I felt like it looked like the cover of a children’s book and it was a moment of happy carefree friendship and fun.
And finally, this was taken way back last January after a storm coated the trees with ice. That’s always a pretty scene and here I took a picture of the Japanese Maple tree, but focusing on just enough of it so you could still see detail, but get that it covered everything. I was delighted and surprised it got added to Flickr Explore.
I could go on and on picking out favorite cats, favorite guinea pigs, favorite vacation, favorite [color], but that’s getting carried away even for me 🙂 I love looking back on photos the serious, the funny, the candid, the posed, the poignant, the beautiful. If nothing else taking pictures can open your eyes to the beautiful details that surround us every day in objects, nature, and people. Happy snapping to you in 2015!