My Top 10 Photos of 2013

Selecting my top 10 photos from 2013 is one of the hardest things I’ve done in the past few months. But as I scrolled through the more than 10,000 photographs in the 2013 folder in my Lightroom catalog, I realized a few things:

  • I should have moved from “auto” to “manual” mode way before March 2013! Although I found it frustrating at first, controlling everything from aperture, to focal point, to exposure time, to ISO and more allows much greater scope to create “in camera” the photograph that I envision.
  • Using a film camera at least every once in a while has the advantage of making me slow down to really think about subject and composition, and it carries over for months after going back to digital format.
  • Experimenting with different techniques and purposefully developing new photography skills helps keep things fresh and interesting. This year I tried three things that were new to me. First, “in camera” multiple exposures (not happy with my results, may try again some day). Second, making photographs with intentional camera movement (not everyone in our family likes the resulting images, but I like the additional creativity this mode brings to my work and I’ll keep working with ICM well into the future). And third, I tried some night photography, including some composite star trails (mistakes here can waste hours of your time, but I’m encouraged by my initial results and will keep working on this skill set whenever location and night sky conditions permit).
  • Nature continues to be my most preferred subject matter and I make photographs primarily to share the inspiring landscapes and intriguing details that I’m so privileged to see on a daily basis here in Calgary and Canmore.

Enough with the introspection! Now for my best photographs of 2013…

It's fun to see how creative you can be with some sheets of paper and a camera. This one was inspired by Freeman Patterson's photo impressionism.

It’s fun to see how creative you can be with some sheets of paper and a camera. This one was inspired by one of Freeman Patterson’s books on photo impressionism.

Mother Nature paints so many beautiful sunsets visible from our home in west Calgary. This one is comprised of three photographs stitched together using Microsoft's free Image Composite Editor (ICE).

Mother Nature paints so many beautiful sunsets visible from our home in west Calgary. This one is comprised of three photographs stitched together using Microsoft’s free Image Composite Editor (ICE).

Clearly more interested in eating than running away, this squirrel was the most cooperative wildlife subject I photographed in all of 2013!

Clearly more interested in eating than running away, this squirrel was the most cooperative wildlife subject I photographed in all of 2013!

Calgary's Prince's Island Park was severely damaged in the June floods. But by September, parts of it were accessible to pedestrians, including the shoreline of the channel separating the island from the downtown core. Fortunately, the poplar trees survived and I enjoyed their bright autumn colour.

Calgary’s Prince’s Island Park was severely damaged in the June floods. But by September, parts of it were accessible to pedestrians, including this channel separating the island from the downtown core. Fortunately, the poplar trees survived and eventually switched over to bright autumn colours.

I enjoyed a long walk with our youngest son on the long Thanksgiving weekend in October. We stopped for a while at a water hazard on a golf course, where the top of Mount Lady MacDonald was just visible in the reflection.

I enjoyed a long walk with our youngest son on the long Thanksgiving weekend in October. We stopped for a while at a water hazard on a golf course, where the top of Mount Lady MacDonald was just visible in the reflection.

At one point in the fall, I grew tired of photographing tree leaves so I spent a morning photographing leaves of paper. This photograph was made using intentional camera movement.

At one point in the fall, I grew tired of photographing tree leaves so I spent a morning photographing leaves of paper. This photograph was made using intentional camera movement.

Drifted snow undulated along the creek banks in contrast to the flat snow-covered sheet of ice over Three Sisters Creek.

Drifted snow undulated along the creek banks in contrast to the flat snow-covered sheet of ice over Three Sisters Creek.

An even coating of ice dresses flood debris in  Three Sisters Creek.

An even coating of ice dresses flood debris in Three Sisters Creek.

There's a little patch of urban forest between the nearest LRT station and home in Calgary. A point and shoot camera isn't the best option for making ICM photographs, but it was all I had with me at the time.

There’s a little patch of urban forest between the nearest LRT station and home in Calgary. A point and shoot camera isn’t the best option for making ICM photographs, but it was all I had with me at the time.

canmore-new-year

Hikers perch on Mount Lady MacDonald, waiting to view Canmore’s New Year’s Eve fireworks.

That’s it for me! You have until 11:59 pm PST on January 4, 2014 to take part in the Your Best Photos From 2013 Blog Project organized by Jim Goldstein. I look forward to being inspired by and learning from all the other submissions.

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2 thoughts on “My Top 10 Photos of 2013

  1. Pingback: Best Photos of 2013 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers » JMG-Galleries - Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography

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