The final of my wrap-up, reflective, end of year posts. (Here’s the 2015 year in review, and top 10 books of the year.) I do love looking back at my photos and choosing my favorites. Once again this year I just allowed myself to photograph what I wanted and did not participate in any photo challenges or a project 365. I found myself using my phone a lot, to my dismay. It was often convenient, occasionally easier in certain light, and I had an awful lot of fun with Instagram. I had another camera trauma this year when it was dropped on the marble floor of a hotel lobby (upon check out) and the lens was damaged. So, that’s another new lens. When I looked at my favorites folder I was a little worried that maybe I didn’t take great pictures this year. Nothing was leaping out at me as “that’s the best picture EVER!” Still, I think there are some good ones (and also you’ll note that “best” is often more than one picture because I couldn’t decide), and most importantly ones that capture our daily life. I’m sticking with mostly the same categories as the previous years, so here goes-the Year in (Best) Pictures!
Best Clark: Most of Clark’s best pictures this year were with other people. Now that he’s a lot older he really isn’t keen on having me just take his picture. So he appears in plenty of pictures with me, or Paul, or maybe with the dog, and hamming it up or jumping, but there’s no portrait taking or anything of that kind going on now. That said, I do love this picture of Clark on his birthday
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsand this picture of Clark and Paul together. The setting and background are great, but so are their easygoing smiles.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Best Tabby: As usual, I have a million pictures of Tabby. She loves having her picture taken. This was a favorite, taken on a spring hike. I love it that she was looking elsewhere, the pink bandanna, and the whistle.
And I liked this too://embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsBest Family Portrait: We had many nice pictures taken of us as a family this year, but just a few that were self-timer or using the phone. I feel like we’ve had this around so long (printed and hung up) that I was surprised to see it was indeed just from March of 2015. We were celebrating my mom’s birthday and I love this cheerful group shot: //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Best Pets: I’ve taken what seems like a million pictures of Willow since we got her. She mostly turns her head sideways when I take her picture, though. This was from when she was a small puppy this summer and was wild and looked like a crazy bat.Of course whenever she is asleep I like to take her picture, too. Curled up, sprawled out, on the couch, a lap, etc. This picture was just on her second day with us and I can’t believe she was ever so small. //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI mustn’t leave out our lovely kitties. This is a favorite of Sweetie. I was delighted with the angle and stretching paws and eye color. And for pure sweetness, here’s my favorite of Liesl just peacefully, trustfully, snuggling up against Paul. Best Action Shot: As usual, it’s the trampoline and the pool that provided the best shots this year. For Tabby in action, I liked this one not just because she was in mid-air, but the whole scene. She’s shouting and wearing protective earwear while leaping around. It’s not just a good picture, it’s funny too. Here’s Clark headed into the pool back first. A flip that didn’t quite go around as far as it should I find myself looking at this picture and cringing. Best self-portrait: There were plenty of pictures of me and the kids and, let’s be real, me and the dog, that I took with the phone. But this book jacket worthy photo is my favorite. It’s so designed and fake looking-the autumn colors, posture, etc. I had just gotten my new lens and taken myself for a photo walk at Duke Farms to celebrate. Best Abstract: I don’t think I’ve had this category before, but where else to put this cool picture?or this one Best Flower: I was really thrilled with the light coming down on these pretty white and orange daffodils. The overall effect had an inspirational feeling.But these petals. oh the colors! Peony and morning glory. I would consider this one of the overall very top pictures of the year. I liked the way it was almost a color blocked image with large sections of lavender, blue, and hot pink, but they were natural things. Best Food: The food category is mouthwatering to look at en masse. I think this was a favorite. I took many closeups of these caramelized hazelnuts (on a pumpkin caramel tart made for Thanksgiving) because I was so pleased with it.And every time I make this Sour Cream Lemon Pie I think that swirling the sour cream into the lemon curd is a thing of beauty: Best Nature: I liked the focus on this industrious bumble bee in an iris. Lots of snow last winter meant pictures of our beautiful big maple tree coated in snow or ice. I liked filling the frame here so that it was almost a pencil etching. On a hike in the Great Swamp the still water made a beautifully reflective surface for the sky. Best In the Coop: Yes there were baby chicks this summer and they were all adorable, but this was my favorite chicken picture: And Gordon is in the coop, too, so he counts here. Many cute pictures of Gordon, I liked this one because it was funny and he set it up himself: and this one because he looks like a ferocious cartoon rabbit (but is really yawning) Best Sewing: I did a lot of quilting this year and one of my favorite pictures was taken just two days into January to show the progress on appliquing these vibrant hearts onto a baby quilt.A month or so later I began hand quilting my prism quilt. I really liked this picture which showed how the quilting was coming along and could be seen on the white, but it was still very much in progress and basted. For taking a picture of a completed project I liked this one from the very last day of the year, which showed both the front and back of my new Halloween quilt. Here’s a new category-best picture taken by Clark. That’s really just a way to include one of my favorite pictures of the year that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories, and also was not taken by me. So shout out to Clark for getting this great picture of Paul and I posing in one of the big Toronto letters. And speaking of uncategorized, as well as Toronto, here are two more favorite pictures of the year, both taken on our trip to Toronto/Niagara Falls. Here’s the full view of those lit-up letters. Obviously there were a lot of pictures in Niagara Falls that I liked. It’s hard to go wrong with one of the most magnificent natural wonders, plus rainbows, and little ships amidst the mist. I was quite taken by the seagulls flying around and posing in front of the falls. Here one comes in for a landing next to a pal, while the falls plunge behind them. Best All Around: This year’s favorite may not be photographically the most striking, as I usually try to go with, but this year it’s the photo that means the most to me, that we all love. This was taken in the car before we left the parking lot of the animal shelter with Willow. She is so small and nervous, Clark is so excited and happy, Tabby is content,and it was such a big moment. It’s a picture to treasure. And with that, a happy new year of photographing to you! Look for beauty around you, observe the details, see the wonder, and snap those moments to treasure!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js