Why I Didn’t Share My Favourite Photographs Of Last Year

A number of the photography blogs I follow have recently shared their favourite photographs from last year, and the top 12 seems to be the most common theme.

Whilst I’ve reviewed the most read blog posts each year, and those I hoped would have been read more, picking my favourite photographs isn’t something I’ve done previously.

I thought carefully about doing so this year.

But then remembered some of the reasons I don’t.

1. My favourites change every time I look back.

Just as our mood and frame of mind influences the photographs we make, photographs seem to look a little different depending on how we’re feeling.

Looking back at a photograph that’s perhaps more bleak and stark might seem cold and depressing one day, but comforting and perfectly attuned to our present outlook another day.

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For this reason, I couldn’t pick 12 definitive photographs from last year – they just wouldn’t be the same selection each time I reviewed them.

2. Photography is (mostly) not about the final image.

Yes I like to discover when editing the photographs from a recent photowalk that there at least a few that make me smile, and proud that I’ve made them.

But my main motivation for photographing at all is to get out in nature and explore.

The second strongest drive is the pleasure of using old cameras, especially the digital classics I’ve come to favour.

Probably a distant third is capturing photographs that I can be happy enough with to share with others and hope they see what I saw, where perhaps most would have just wandered by oblivious.

3. I’m pretty rubbish at choosing.

I’m not a big fan of choosing from a wide range of options.

Just go to a large supermarket and stand in the toothpaste or shampoo aisle for example. How many choices do we need? How different can all those brands really be?

This is one reason I greatly enjoyed the One Month, One Camera project over last year, and plan to continue it every month this year. It radically reduces the choices I need to make when I’m heading out to photograph.

I just grab my current camera, and go.

It’s not dissimilar when reviewing my own photographs, at least those made over a longer period, or any more than perhaps 50 at a time.

The thought of going through hundreds to try to find five or 10 or 12 favourites just seems too difficult, too laborious, and not a great use of my time.

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So for these reasons, once again a year has ended without a favourite photographs post from me!

How about you? Do you review your photographs periodically and pick your favourites? What does this give you? Do the favourites change?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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8 thoughts on “Why I Didn’t Share My Favourite Photographs Of Last Year”

  1. I started sharing mine annually because I wanted easy content I could create well in advance during the busy Christmas season. I like to have December’s posts all complete before the first week of December ends, or into the second if I can’t quite make it. Then I can focus on Christmas. The end-of-year posts I write (favorite photos, carspotting, annual wrapup) are not challenging at all and I can put them together pretty fast. And people seem to like them. Will my opinions of my 10 best photos of any year change? Heck yeah. So?

    1. Yes for me I don’t see it as “easy content” at all! It’s much easier for me to write a 1000 word blog post than pick 12 favourite photos from hundreds!

      1. That’s the beauty of my Portfolio album. Anytime I’m super satisfied with one of my photos I add it to that album. Then at the end of the year I’m looking at 40-50 photos, not hundreds.

      2. That is a very sensible idea, to keep the best of the best in an album as you go, rather than try to review 12 months of photos in one go… Even if you don’t do any kind of end of year review, it’s good to gather together your very best work.

  2. There are certain photos that just stick with me. I knew which ones I wanted to put in my top 10 film photos almost straight away, as there were images I had gone back to over and over throughout the year. The digital photos were a bit more difficult, but there was still a handful that I knew would be in my top 10 🙂

    1. Mel, thanks for your thoughts. Do you know a photo might/will be a top contender when you first take it, or when your first review it afterwards at home?

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