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.
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.
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).
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