Friday, January 8, 2016

My Top 12 Photographs of 2015

"Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." --Ansel Adams
A reader of this blog noted that, even though I used the Ansel Adams quote above, I showed 24 photographs, not 12, in my last two posts: My Top 12 Black & White Photographs of 2015 and My Top 12 Color Photographs of 2015. I divided the images between two posts, giving the illusion of 12 when in fact it was double that number. I was being tricky.

The reader wanted to know what I think are my best 12 photographs of 2015, regardless of color or monochrome. The best of the best. What are they?

Eight photographs were easy to choose. In my opinion these are my best, noticeably better than the others. Four were difficult to pick.

I had four spots remaining and 16 photographs to choose from. I had to really consider what deserved to be here, and then come to terms with the idea that maybe I didn't capture 12 significant photographs in 2015. Four photographs are included in this post only to bring the number up to 12, and not because they are significant.

What makes a photograph "significant" anyway? Some might define it as commercial success. Or critical acclaim. Or portfolio worthy. Or lots of likes on social media.

I define a significant photograph as one that I personally think is great, one that I'm really proud of. It doesn't matter if anyone else likes it or not. It doesn't matter if it's commercially successful or not. It doesn't matter if people "get" it or not. What matters is how I feel about it, if I'm happy with it.

So in 2015 I didn't have a good crop of significant photographs. I mean, eight is not bad. I think I captured some really great images. But I fell short of Ansel Adams' "good crop" definition.

Interestingly, I was a more dynamic color photographer in the first third of the year and a more dynamic black-and-white photographer in the last two-thirds. Color photography and black-and-white photography are two different things. What makes one work doesn't make the other work. You have to be in the right mindset to be successful, and I was in more of a color mindset early in 2015 and in more of a monochrome mindset later.

The photographs are ordered oldest to newest.
Sunset At Morro Rock - Morro Bay, California
February 15, 2015.
Pacific Sunset - Morro Bay, California
February 15, 2015.
Pacific Dudes - Morro Bay, California
February 15, 2015.
Red Chairs - Cambria, California
March 22, 2015.
Morning Window - San Simeon, California
March 22, 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.
Shoots & Ladder - Pasadena, California
November 1, 2015.
Ethical Drugs - Hollywood, California
November 29, 2015.
Sun Rays Over Cummings Mountain - Tehachapi, California
December 4, 2015.

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