My Ten Favourite Photos from 2015

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Thanks for reading! Andrew.



Favourite photo from 2015

At the end of every year I take a look back and pick my ten favourites. I recommend that you do the same. It’s an interesting exercise, and one that gains value over the years as you compare each set of favourites. It helps you see where you are right now, and trace the path back through previous years so you can see how you got there. It may also suggest projects and themes you can explore in the future.

For me, 2015 has been split in two. I spent the first seven months in New Zealand, and the rest of it on the road in China and Europe. Most of my favourites were taken in New Zealand.

My favourites this year are all in black and white. It makes for a more unified set of images, but is also part of a trend that has held true for a long time – my favourite images, the ones that always have more staying power, are in black and white.

All of these photos were taken with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera. I’ve barely used another camera since buying it.

Here are my top ten photos for 2015. Links to my previous top tens are below.

Favourite photo from 2015

Unfinished bowls, Tony Sly Pottery. Tony Sly is a potter based in Raglan, a town on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. We were staying in Raglan for a few days so I got in touch to ask if I could drop by and take some photos. This is my favourite. I like the shapes of the unfinished bowls, stacked to wait the next part of the production process.

Favourite photo from 2015

Artwork by Chris Meek. Chris is a panel-beater turned artist who also lives in Raglan. He makes art work from scrap metal. This is one of his pieces, on its way to completion.

Favourite photo from 2015

Chris Meek, artist. A portrait of the artist in his workshop.

Favourite photo from 2015

Portrait of Ashley. I was drawn to the textures and shapes of the rocks as a background. Unfortunately it was a bit uncomfortable for her, but the result was worth it.

black-white-photo-11

Tess with hula hoops. I took these portraits of performer Tess with hula hoops at a local beach. They work well presented together as a series of five images. Click here to see a larger version.

 Favourite photo from 2015

Loughlan, ballet dancer. Taken in the same place as the previous portraits. Loughlan reacted to the environment by giving me an impromptu performance. These photos work well as a triptych. Click here to see a larger version.

Favourite photo from 2015

A portrait of my friend Claire, sitting in front of a gypsy caravan she made herself. It is now her home.

Favourite photo from 2015

Eoin the glass blower. After I had taken some photos of Eoin at work in his studio, we went outside and I made some portraits.

Favourite photo from 2015

Todd the flute maker. This close-up of Todd shaping a flute on his lathe is my favourite from the shoot.

Favourite photo from 2015

Muslim quarter, Xi’an. The man in this photo is making a kind of sweet sold at a food stall in the Muslim quarter of Xi’an, China. In my imagination the spider tattoo represents membership of the local triad.

Links

You can catch up on previous top ten photo posts at these links:

2014 top ten photos

2013 top ten photos

2012 top ten photos

2011 top ten photos

2010 top ten photos

Photographer Jim Goldstein publishes an annual round-up of top ten photo posts on his blog. I’ll post the link here when the article is available. If you have a top ten list yourself, you have until 2nd January to add it to the list. The details are here.

 

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10 Responses to “My Ten Favourite Photos from 2015”

  1. Brian Wigginton says:

    I do agree with you in general about the strength of B&W compared with colour, but I do feel I must be missing colour in a few of your photos, the Chris Meek art work, for example.

    Finding the completed work on Chris’s own site, did bear this out, for me.
    http://www.chrismeek.co.nz/gallery/latest-works.aspx

    • Hi Brian, thanks for commenting. I processed that photo in colour too and I really like it. I find myself getting caught in a battle between black and white and colour, moving between the two, often processing two versions of the same photo. It’s interesting because this is a uniquely digital dilemma – it simply didn’t exist with film as you had to commit to one or the other when you decided what film to use.

  2. Antony says:

    Great images Andrew and they certainly pack a punch expressing a depth and feeling it could be said, with the subject matter you have chosen that I could imagine would be greatly diminished with colour versions.
    Certainly agree with you too about the battle between B&W and colour. Having more than one choice sometimes can be a double edged sword!

  3. Wayne says:

    I have always felt the B&W plays to the emotional or a timeless content of the shot and color portrays more reality. I can see why you chose a number of these as your favorite(s). I too enjoyed them. I especially enjoyed the flute maker, Chris, Eoin, Claire and the pottery. However, poor Ashley. Her discomfort shows through to me. I think the angle of her body with legs higher than her head, the camera shooting down on her and it being B&W – my first thought was “crime scene” photo. BUT a very good one.

    • Hi Wayne, your comment about Ashley’s photo is interesting because it doesn’t quite match with the others in terms of approach or content. One of the reasons I chose it is because there’s something about the idea that appeals to me emotionally – the photo isn’t perfect but there’s something there that I want to explore more, even if I’m not quite sure what it is yet.

      I’m just thinking out aloud here, but there’s also a subtle difference between picking ten favourite photos and ten best photos. Favourites are fairly easy, but how do you define best? That’s probably better for somebody else who isn’t emotionally involved with the photos to decide.

      • Wayne says:

        Your comment …I want to explore more… is actually how I felt. I found myself going back to it a number of times because there was an interesting draw to it. The difference between Favorite and Best can also be perplexing. One way to think of it (to me) is part of the “favorite” becomes what you felt when taking it. The smells or perhaps the sounds or others around you at the time. Seeing it brings those good feelings to the surface again. IMO “best” can be a technically correct shot admired by others and makes others enjoy it by bringing thought and expression to those that view it. However, even with it being an excellent shot it might not bring the same level feeling to me as one of my favorites would.

        • I think you’ve nailed it Wayne. The photographer always has an emotional connection to their favourite images that the viewer lacks. Perhaps the best photographers are the ones who can express some of that emotion in their photos.

  4. Lovely images. I’m not drawn usually to black & whites even though my husband shoots exclusively in B&W but these are excellent. I like the flute close up and the people performing on the beach the best 🙂

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