Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Top 12 Favorite Black & White Photographs of 2015

"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." --Ansel Adams 
I wanted to publish this post last week, but it was much more difficult to put together than I had anticipated. I went through all of the photographs that I had captured in 2015 and narrowed down the list of my favorite black-and-white photographs to 27. That was actually the easy part.

Taking the list from 27 to 12 was the hard part. All of the semifinalist images are ones that I like. I think that all of them are good (it's difficult to cut out photographs that you like). I have an attachment to all of my images.

I'm reminded of Steve McCurry and his well-known Afghan Girl photograph, which graced the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic. The exposure that we all have seen is not the exposure that Steve thought was the best. His favorite frame was a different one. It didn't matter which one that Steve thought was best. His best photograph was the one that other people thought was best, and that photograph is now iconic.

This is true for my photographs and your photographs, as well. I'm not the one who decides which of my photographs are the best. You're not the one who decides which of your photographs are the best. You and I are too emotionally attached to our own photographs--too biased--to decide. Other people are the ones who ultimately decide.

The best that I can do is select my own favorite photographs. These may or may not be my best, but they are the ones that I personally like the best. The 15 that almost made the cut are also my favorites, but these 12 edged them out. Perhaps my best photographs are found in these 12, or perhaps they're found in the 15 that weren't included. Maybe your favorites are not found in this list.

I used several different cameras to capture these photographs, including a Nikon D3300 (5), a Sony RX100 II (5), a Canon PowerShot N (1) and a Nokia Lumia 1020 (1). Gear really doesn't matter. Some people would consider every single one of those cameras to be cheap, and most certainly two of them are. Cheap gear is just as capable of capturing great photographs as expensive gear (just as long as the photographer is capable). It's photographic vision, creativity and getting to the right places at the right times that matter most.

The photographs below are ordered from oldest to newest. Enjoy!
1956 Chevy Bel Air At Cameron's Dairy - Tehachapi, California
January 3, 2015.
We Will Deliver - Rosamond, California
March 27, 2015.
Water Replenishment - Fish Camp, California
May 10, 2015.
Glacier Point Infrared - Yosemite National Park, California
May 10, 2015.
Window Shadows - Las Vegas, Nevada
May 22, 2015.
Rushing - Carlsbad, California
August 23, 2015.
Vintage Half Dome From Olmsted Point - Yosemite National Park, California
October 10, 2015.
Love - Tehachapi, California
November 1, 2015.
Shoots & Ladder - Pasadena, California
November 1, 2015.
Ethical Drugs - Hollywood, California
November 29, 2015.
Lines & Shadows In Monochrome - Tehachapi, California
December 1, 2015.
Sun Rays Over Cummings Mountain - Tehachapi, California
December 4, 2015.

3 comments:

  1. I love them all, more so the Window Shadows and the Lines & Shadows in Monochrome. My ultimate favorite is the 1956 Chevy Bel Air, mostly because my dream car is a mid 50's Bel Air (preferably convertible).

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deborah, for commenting! 1956 Chevy Bel Air At Cameron's Dairy was published in a magazine earlier this year. It's certainly a favorite, but I debated if it should have been included.
      I worried if I included Lines & Shadows In Monochrome because it's new and not because it's good. Sometimes time brings clarity as my emotional connection to the image fades. Glad to know that someone else likes it.

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  2. I love them all, more so the Window Shadows and the Lines & Shadows in Monochrome. My ultimate favorite is the 1956 Chevy Bel Air, mostly because my dream car is a mid 50's Bel Air (preferably convertible).

    ReplyDelete