Celebrating the moments and subjects that inspired us to pick up our cameras.
Top Shots of the Year: A Review
As the year comes to a close and the new year begins, it’s a great time to reflect on the progress we’ve made as photographers. One way to do this is by reviewing our best photographs from the past year. In this article, we’ll take a look back at the shots that captured our attention and creativity, and consider what they say about our growth as photographers. We’ll also consider the techniques and subjects that worked well for us, and think about what we want to focus on in the future.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, reviewing your best photographs is a valuable exercise that can help you appreciate your own progress and accomplishments. So let’s dive in and see what the past year has brought us!
Rhino in Black and White
For me one of my favourite images for 2022 has to be this one. Taken in Sabi Sands area of South Africa on my BootCamp Safari, a white rhino grazing with it’s young. A rare sighting as they are almost poached to extinction. Love the angle we managed to get with the light – makes for a great monochrome image. I remember watching through the viewfinder waiting for the rhino to move into a spot that was not hidden by grass and walking into the sunlight. Got lucky with those catch-lights in it’s eye. Brent
What are the advantages of reviewing your best photographs for the last year?
There are several advantages to reviewing your best photographs from the past year:
- Reflection: Reviewing your best photographs allows you to reflect on your progress as a photographer. You can see how your skills and style have developed over the past year, and think about what you want to focus on in the future.
- Inspiration: Looking at your best photographs can also be a great source of inspiration. You can see what techniques and subjects worked well for you and consider incorporating them into your future work.
- Sharing: Reviewing your best photographs is a great way to share your work with others. You can create a portfolio or a slideshow to show off your best shots to friends, family, and potential clients.
- Personal Growth: By reviewing your best photographs, you can identify areas of your photography that you excel in and areas that you need to improve upon. This can help you set goals and continue to grow as a photographer.
- Personal Evolution: It allows you to see how your style has evolved. As you grow as a photographer, your style will naturally evolve and change. By reviewing your best photographs from the past year, you can see how your style has developed and what direction you may want to take your photography in the future.
Overall, reviewing your best photographs from the past year is a valuable exercise that can help you become a better photographer and appreciate your own progress and accomplishments.
How do you identify your best photographs for the last year?
There are a few ways you can identify your best photographs from the past year:
- Look for photographs that stand out to you: Think about which photographs you are most proud of or that have a special meaning to you. These might be photographs that you spent a lot of time composing or that you feel capture a moment or emotion particularly well.
- Consider technical excellence: Look for photographs that are well-exposed, sharp, and have good composition. These are the photographs that are likely to stand the test of time and be the most pleasing to look at.
- Seek feedback: Ask friends, family, or fellow photographers for their opinions on which of your photographs they think are the best. That’s what I created Photo BootCamp Academy for – to get feedback on our images from fellow photograpers. This can help you get a fresh perspective on your work and identify photographs that others find particularly strong.
- Use editing software: Many photo editing software programs have tools that allow you to rate or tag your photographs. You can use these tools to identify your best photographs by assigning a higher rating or tag to the ones you think are the strongest.
- Storytelling: Consider which photos tell a compelling story or convey a specific emotion. These photos are often the most powerful and memorable.
Ultimately, the best photographs are subjective and depend on your personal goals and style as a photographer. It’s important, to be honest with yourself and consider which photos truly represent your best work from the past year.
Photo BootCamp Magazine
Let’s have a look at what our BootCamp members have chosen for their top shots for 2022.
And be sure to check out how you can join BootCamp at the end of the magazine!
Below is a small sample of what’s in this magazine…
JOIN BRENT ON SAFARI
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Inside BootCamp Magazine
Let’s take a look at this month’s magazine. Here is our featured artist of the month, Rohn Shearer, from the United States.
They spent a wonderful 2 weeks exploring the beaches of Lake Michigan and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Their daughter spent most of the time holed up in the RV, but he captured this picture of her on one of the few walks on the beach she took with them.
Comment: Peter Brody – ” Rohn, I like how the waves and the sand lead me up to the carefree stroll of your daughter wading in the water.”
This month’s featured magazine cover image is from Dave Koh from Singapore. This image was unintentional as his original focus was on the changeable lizard. He had positioned himself to take the different behavior of it and was clicking when it was looking upward. He did not notice until he had downloaded the pictures and realized that a Tawny Coster butterfly was also within the focusing range. This made a much better shot for him as it is not easy to get the same shot again.
Comment: Greg Skehan – “This is a superb image, Dave. It may have been unintentional but you have great composition and I particularly love the expression on the face of the lizard like an unexpected lunch (or maybe a friend) has just arrived. I agree with Richard – this really is a prize winner.”
Let’s take a look at some of the top images of our BootCamp members for the year 2022.
We’ll start with Valerie Worthen from the United States. She is traveling for the holidays so she only has the photos she has saved to her phone. That being said, the attached photo is one of her favorites from this year. These are trumpeter swans and have up to an 8-foot wingspan. They are her favorite subject to photograph in the winter.
Comment: Dave Koh – “Nice shot of these swans. Looks huge. They flew in synchronization and unison. Love it.”
Next, we have Tessa Blewchamp from United Kingdom. At the end of May last year they managed to get away for a holiday in Northumberland with friends, postponed for 2 years due to the Covid restrictions. They were privileged to take a trip to the Farne Islands to see the seals and nesting birds. A few weeks later, the islands were closed to the public because of avian flu, which has had a devastating impact on the bird populations. This is her best shot from that day. Taken on shutter speed priority.
Comment: Lynton Stacey – “Tessa I am so jealous! I wanted to photograph puffins when in the Orkney’s a few years ago, but they left the day before (so I’m told). You have such a sharp image of a flying bird against the blurred background. Well done.”
Paul Fuller from Australia is next. This photo was taken at a local sandspit on the Hunter River N.S.W Australia. He arrived early as the water is always calmer, and better for reflections, and the lighting is not as harsh, this Pied stilt was away from the main group of birds. He positioned it in the left third of the frame and allowed enough room to catch the reflection.
Comment: Richard Hutson – “Paul, It must have been difficult for you to select just one photo as all of your work is so good. I like this one for its simplicity and sense of purpose.”
Then we have Lynton Stacey from Australia. While travel has been possible this year, and he had the opportunity of visiting other parts of Australia. His favourite image is probably this one taken just before Christmas. They rented an old homestead on the banks of a backwater of the River Murray just below Blanchetown where they had their whole family together to celebrate his wife’s special birthday. The river is in flood, creating problems for many, but also creating beautiful photo opportunities as in this image. It was taken at sunset, and 3 images merged as HDR.
Comment: Dave Koh – “Lovely reflection, Lynton. Sometime flood can change a common place into a unique one with vast opportunity for photoshoot before the water subsided. This is one of them and you have grabbed the right moment to have it recorded. Well done.”
And next we have Peter Dwight from Australia. This is photo of a creek crossing. Shot out of his car window.
Comment: Valerie Worthen – “Beautiful scenery and so many colors. I like the ripples of the water in the reflection. The bright orange in the bottom left is a little distracting for me as it keeps pulling my eyes away from the scene in front of it. Good capture.”
And next, we have Laura Griffiths from South Africa. Year 2022 has been a safari year for her. Very happily, and also a year where she has decided that shooting birds in flight, although she’s no birder, would aid her thought process and reaction time for any other wildlife photography. None of the creatures of the wild wait for you to compose the photo, they can and do take off and implode your intended composition at any moment, so the speed is of the essence just to get the shot. Thereafter, one can take time and recompose, move camera settings, check the histogram, or whatever in an effort to make it better. This image is no feat in composition but my best to date of a bird in flight with a bit of relevant treetop as opposed to blank in the blue sky. Shot in the unpronounceable Kgalagadi again, like her jackal. Black-chested Snake Eagle. This image is much darker than the one in her Lr catalogue.
Comment: Sheree Ebanks – “What a great shot, Laura! I have tried my hand at taking birds in flight, and this year my plan is to try to capture birds! Thanks for sharing this, and your settings! I wonder what happens if you bump up the ISO too—maybe to 500 and use a faster shutter speed.”
And last, we have Sara O’Brien from the United States. She liked what she did with this one. Turned it upside down. She liked the monochromatic look. On winter days it is very calming to enjoy an image such as this one. It brings back the warmth and sunshine of summer.
- Reviewing your best photographs from the past year is a valuable exercise for photographers.
- It allows you to reflect on your progress, see your growth as a photographer, and set goals for the future.
- Reviewing your best photographs can also provide inspiration and allow you to share your work with others.
- Identifying your best photographs can be done by looking for those that stand out to you, those with technical excellence, or those that tell a compelling story.
- You can also seek feedback from friends, family or fellow photographers, or use photo editing software to rate or tag your photographs.
- The best photographs are subjective and depend on personal goals and style as a photographer.
- By reviewing your best photographs, you can appreciate your own progress and accomplishments.
- It helps in personal growth by identifying areas of excellence and areas for improvement.
- Reviewing best photographs also allows you to see how your style has evolved.
- Ultimately, being honest with yourself and considering which photos truly represent your best work is important.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out these related articles, too:
- Mastering the Art of Double Exposure Photography
Explore the Creative Possibilities of Layering Photos to Create Surreal Images
- Photographing Traditions
Photographing different cultural traditions around the world.
- Fine Art Nature Photography Tips
Eugene Brannan Shares His Fine Art Nature Editing Secrets
Do This Now
Please leave me a comment below – I’d love to know what you think. Brent