2015 saw me in six different countries on four different trips. It saw me with a new job with the fantastic team at The Camera Store. It saw me learn and grow as a photographer and a person, and I'm thankful for all of it. A massive thank you to anyone who's supported me in any capacity, from housing and feeding me (thanks parents!), to working with me, to inspiring me (shoutout to any band who's ever been on my playlist), to anyone who's read any or every one of these blogs. Any measure of support means the world to me.
I've taken some time to pull together my ten favourite photos from the year. This is tough, but after going through the thousands of them over and over, some stick out, and I think I've narrowed it down.
So, in no particular order:
My first trip of the year - four days down in California. (Full blog here.) This was taken on the last evening there, almost by chance, as where I was for sunset was dictated by where I could find a parking spot, and not where the best pictures might be. I think it turned out to be one and the same anyways.
Prague is one of my favourite cities in the world. It's comfortable and mystical and always has something happening. I didn't even plan this shot - just wandering around in the evening with my camera, shooting as I do. I guess I was in the right place at the right time. Gotta be lucky occasionally. I'm just glad I had my tripod with me. (Full Czech blog here.)
Shot on my first afternoon back in Europe. I love being in Europe so much to the point where I almost feel homesick for it some days. You just don't see this in Calgary. (Full Switzerland blog here.)
That being said, and as much as I love travelling, Calgary is always home. This was shot almost offhand - I was walking back to the train after a portrait session and I noticed the Tower peeking between the two buildings, so I fired off a couple of frames.
Captured from the summit of Harder Kulm and highlighting, just left of centre, the summits of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. Harder Kulm is a small mountain overlooking the town of Interlaken and the Bernese Alps. The two hour hike up it left me time to think about actually crafting a picture - not just capturing what I saw, but actually creating an image, conceptualizing everything from composition to tonality to telling a story, and realizing that to an endpoint. This was the result.
(To be honest, it's actually a knockoff of another image I'd made years ago. Maybe I'll start a series.)
Savannah was a dream to work with. I've never had the opportunity to work with a dancer before, and she was gracious and graceful, not to mention extremely patient as I dragged her around in the cold. I'd point to different locations with a "for my own selfish purposes, that's a really cool wall and I know it's not a classical ballet setting but would you indulge me...?" I learned a lot from this shoot and I really hope I can do more work like this in the future.
Wandering around Interlaken with low cloud is something out of a dream. It's so still and misty and it feels like sunrise, even though this was taken at high noon. I really started working with black and white images this year, and this, along with the picture of Zurich below, were two of the first I was happy with.
This Vancouver trip (full blog) was probably the most successful for me. I really narrowed my focus on what I was shooting, trying to make images with more intention. This was my favourite from the trip. I love the tonalities, and the graphic shapes of both Canada Place and the apartment complexes behind it, and how stark they are against the blank sky.
One of the things about Zurich that stuck in my head was this echo of home. I don't know how many times I've looked out to the west of Calgary and seen the familiar jagged line of the Rockies on the horizon. From Zurich, it's the Alps to the south. I like how the pattern of the boats almost echoes the horizon line.
I don't know if I can definitively pick a favourite image of the year, but this might be it. I remember this night pretty vividly. I was exhausted, fighting some kind of illness, homesick, wet, cold, semi-lost half the time, and not particularly inspired or happy with my initial review of the images I was getting. But I was having fun. I honestly love taking pictures, even when the situation isn't optimum. I love looking through a lens, I love clicking the shutter and freezing a moment in time. At the end of the day - or the year, in this case - it's why I do this. It's why I will keep doing this for as long as I possibly can.
To the year ahead: It's gonna be awesome. My day job surrounds me with photographers, videographers, cameras, etc etc etc for five days a week and I find it to be fantastically motivating. I'm in the midst of a couple projects - the ongoing Imitation Studies, as announced in my previous post, and a new one which I will be announcing soon (stay tuned!). I'm very excited for where this year will take me and what mischief I can get up to.