Welcome back to part II of this adventure. Last blog entry I started to pick my ten best images of 2015. I was not successful editing down to ten but went from 7554 images at the start to 13. The first culling was easy – going from 7554 to 184 but the next set of selections was difficult. It took six passes through the 184 to get to 13 , each pass removed more. Last entry I reviewed the first five here are the last eight selections (in no special order):
The next picture — of the year’s top 13 — is a scenic. I took quite a few landscapes but for whatever reason this is the only one that made it through the selection process.This picture is from a road trip from Denver to San Francisco. Taken in Utah, It’s the light that I love. I also like the apparent feel of layers; the color changes that lead the eye from the dark bushes in the foreground across the valley to the first set of mountains bathed in partial sunlight, then finally on to the 2nd set of mountains in the shade.
Canon 7d 24-105 lens @ 105 mm. ISO 200 with the shutter at 1/2000 sec and f/5.6
A tractor and the lizard feel primitive. The tractor is old and rusting; the Iguana belongs to an old species; a reptile and a throw-back to the dinosaurs. The colors work well and are interestingly framed by the tractor. Interestingly enough there was a good New York style Bagel shop not far from where this photo was taken, but that’s another story.
The rusting hose leads the eye up to the lizard where it scanning stops and backs down to the lizard’s spine.
Taken in a vacant lot in Quepos, Costa Rica.
Canon 7d. 24-105mm @ 105 mm. ISO =640 shutter: 1/400 and f/9
The Embera and Wounaan people live in the primitive area of Panama known as the Darien Gap. It’s a gap because it’s the only missing segment of the entire Alaska to Argentina Pan-American Highway. We sailed into the area in the company of one other boat — Argo — belonging to a California couple we had met the week before.
This Wounaan boy was hiding behind an abandoned dugout canoe. I like the photo because of the one-on-one connection between the boy and me (the photographer) and the boy and the viewer.
Canon 7d 10-22mm lens set at 18mm. ISO was 800 and the shutter was at 1/500 sec and f/6.3
In the same Wounaan village (as the picture above) was the village store and meeting spot. I like this image because of the real laughter and good humor shown (even if I don’t remember why they were having such a good time). There is enough detail in the image to get a general idea of what the village buy to eat; and, given the size of the village and the size of the store how much they depend on the land for most of their food. You will note the electric clock in the background. That’s because the Government of Panama provides solar panels for some of these villages.
Canon 7d Lens is 10-22 mm set at 13mm. ISO was 6400. Shutter is 1/200 sec at f/4.0
Group transportation. Given that travel by road is problematic, boats are the main mode of transportation in the Darien. At this Embera village, the lagoon felt park-like to me. I use this picture as a screen shot on my computer because of the restful feeling it brings me.
Canon 7d 40mm lens. ISO is 800; shutter is 1/250 sec and f/10
Isla Chapera of the las Perlas Islands off the Pacific coast of Panama. Mostly sand. Some trees and scrub vegetation the island seems mostly beach and jungle. This image is beautiful with lots of muted colors, but also suggests a struggle to survive. The tree hanging on for a while longer. The forces of nature collude to erode and make life difficult. It’s a reminder that without man to intervene life is a struggle and not easy.
Canon 7d 10-22 mm lens set at 10mm. ISO is 250 Shutter: 1/160 sec f/7.1
The fruit and vegetable market in Panama City. The market, when it’s open, is in constant motion. A photographer could spend many hours here not not be bored. The colors, quantities and shapes of the fruit and vegetables are striking. The restaurant and grocery owners shopping for the day – equally interesting. I like the expression on the owners face; a mixture of interest and skepticism. The shopper, obviously a businessman is reaching for fruit but I think it incidental to the discussion.
Camera: Canon Powershot G15, ISO 1600 with the lens at 8.25mm shutter 1/100 at f/2
Golfito. Boats shouldn’t be in the mud and falling apart. It’s sad because there is no chance for repair. The boat has an almost human-like face, forlorn, but resigned. Golifito was described to me as “an asylum with the doors open”. The boat and the mud works with the cumulus clouds. The eye focuses on the boat and its predicament first then travels to the clouds as if they are the beginning of another future story.
Was this photo culling exercise worthwhile? It was for me. Because of this task I had to be ruthless in evaluating my images. Many beloved pictures ended up “on the cutting room floor” so to speak. I had to be more objective in the evaluations and even with that mindset I saw things in the pictures I hadn’t seen before that help include some images and reject others.
I also learned I need to develop a more sophisticated Lightroom attribute system to make these kinds of reviews and future printing decisions a bit faster.
I highly recommend trying this on your own photos.
If you are interested, I’ve started a new photo related website. It’s got a blog about photography as well as some galleries where photos are for sale: