Thursday, 19 January 2017

My Best Photography of 2016

2016, as I mentioned in my previous roundup post, was my year for photography. I bought my first (and, um, second) DSLR and really threw myself into improving my craft.

So, I decided I'd pick out a few of my best/favourite pictures from the past year! Without further ado, here they are, in roughly chronological order:


I took this one early into the winter, while out snowshoeing. It's in some sense luck, as I was quickly taking photos trying to capture at least one foot in the air without worrying too much about composition. But...I'm still quite proud of it. It's probably my best pre-buying-my-own camera photo (shot on my brother's camera...thanks for lending it to me!)

This one was taken a few months later (as you can see by the lack of snow). I'd gotten my DSLR not too long before, and had just purchased a 50mm prime lens (such an amazing lens!). The day was grey and rainy, so I made the best of it...I absolutely love that bokeh in the background.

When I went to Hecla Island - one of my favourite places in Manitoba - for a long weekend, I'd fallen into a bit of a rut photographically. I was only shooting with the aforementioned 50mm lens and felt like I couldn't get any good shots with my wider-angle lens. Admittedly that lens was the kit lens and thus not very good, but still...I wanted out of my rut. So I challenged myself by only packing the 18-55mm lens for the long weekend.

When we saw this old lighthouse and the end of a spit of land, with the dark, moody clouds behind, both my brother and I knew we'd found a winning subject. I love how everything in this photo turned out, from the clouds to the lighting to the composition.

These next two photos were also shot at Hecla. It rained for much of the first day, which had the advantage of giving me the nice moody clouds in the picture above...and fog the next morning. I'm quite pleased with the composition in both of these.


Well, as you can probably imagine, this is one big category.

This picture is from Halifax. It was night, the fog was coming in, and I had just realized how long exposures my camera could do. So...this is my first successful long exposure/night photo, and I was quite excited.

This one was also Halifax, this time in the botanical garden. I adored the tiny house and tried to snag a photo. Here, everything (the colours, the composition, the reflection) worked out perfectly.

I took these next few photos at the first guesthouse BBQ I experienced. I decided that it would be fun to try and capture candids of my companions, something I've long wanted to do but never managed successfully.

The tricky lighting conditions around the fire were enormously fun to try and shoot in. These are some of my favourite pictures I've ever taken...

...especially this one. I utterly love the moment I've captured here.

This next photo, taken on whilst hiking on Stockhorn, marks the first sucessful self-portrait I've taken (I've tried others before, but they ranged from not great to complete failures). Here, too, the colours, lighting, and composition worked out perfectly.

I shot this photo at a later BBQ. Through sheer luck, my shutter went off at exactly the right moment...I still laugh every time I look at it.

 It's not for nothing that the 5-Seen-Wanderung by Pizol is considered on of Switzerland's most scenic...

I took this picture on my way down from Mount Titlis, making use of the lovely fog that had dogged us for most of the day! You can see some of my continued attempts to shoot good reflections in these photos.

This photo, taken in the mountains near Aigle (approximately an hour by public transport from Lausanne) is one I edited once I finally got Lightroom after returning home. It marks one of my first edits with Lightroom I'm really happy with, and of course you can't beat those mountain vistas!

After the hike we did near Aigle, where I shot the above photo, my companion and I went to Lausanne itself. All we wanted to do after a strenuous hike was take a swim to wash off the sweat and dust, and relax on the beach, so we did. It was cloudy and somewhat rainy all day, as you can see in the above picture, but as luck would have it the skies cleared as we neared the beach.

So, here you have Lake Geneva, sun, and cool cloud formations.

Here Dominik and I are on a via ferrata. I was trying to take good action shots of him (fairly hard to do from below, with very limited room for movement!) I like how this one turned out with the diagonal composition and the colours.

Photographing sunrise on the Matternhorn, reflected in a lake, was probably the highlight (at least photographically) of my entire year, if not several years.

And I shot probably my best portrait ever...though, to be fair, it's not that hard with that as your background.

I really love the "tiny person in big landscape" composition (I suspect that's not it's official name, but oh well), but I haven't had much success with it so far. I do, however, really like this attempt. I was already taking photos when Michael, my hiking companion, ran past I used my chance :). He really the result too, despite being my unwitting model.

Here, to my great pleasure, I succeeded in shooting a similar composition as a self-portrait!

And, finally, one more long-exposure shot, this time from London.


Fall found me back in Winnipeg, Manitoba, leaving me sadly with no chance of photographing mountains anymore. However, Manitoba has a few things going for it as far as photography subjects go...

For one, we have gorgeous fall foliage! This fall we were lucky and the colours lasted a long time (wait, actually, I think that's a symptom of climate change, oops). 

I tried quite a few times to get cycling self-portraits. They are hard to pull off, let me tell you! I had a tripod by this point, which is more than I had in Switzerland, but I still found it tricky. This photo marks my only successful picture out of multiple attempts involving probably hundreds of photos shot.

Another thing the prairies truly have going for them are huge, blue skies. In this photo, I managed to capture a sense of the vastness of prairies and prairie skies.

Aaaand...we have amazing sunsets! Both of these photos were shot on snowshoe hikes recently.

And that is all! Though, really, I have far more favourites than just these, of course. Which one is your favourite?

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