Favourite Shots From 2014

Similar to last year, I won’t be doing a top 10, but rather an assortment of shots I made this year that I’m fairly happy with. This past year felt like I didn’t get out as much as I would have liked, but I still pulled off a couple photo trips, so it wasn’t all bad. I wanted to sincerely thank everyone who has taken the time to visit and comment on this little hobby of mine. It’s always nice to know that people enjoy looking at my photos as much as I enjoy taking them.

Below are 24 shots (in the order I took them) that I chose for this year because they either captured a great moment or I find technically interesting. As always, click on the photo for a larger version.

Snow Day Snow Day

I like this shot for several reasons. The first being that it was captured on some expired film using a crappy point and shoot camera and the exposure is bang on; I love the tones in the image; the joy on my sons face; and the falling snow. It was a great day to take photos, and an even better day to play outside with family.

In a Row In a Row

This black and white photo was taken in the spring down at the Peterborough Marina. We had a winter with a lot of snow which melted quite rapidly and caused flooding in various parts of town. I’m particularly proud of this shot because of the tones, contrast, symmetry and the fact that you can see the bricks fade away into the flooded area.

Adelaide Adelaide

This is a photo of my friends dog. The look and feel of using film really shows in this image. It’s almost a bit overexposed, but that’s what I like about it.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The above shot was quickly taken at Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto back in June while on a field trip with work. We were given a behind the scenes tour of the facility before fending for ourselves amongst the common folk. I love the contrast and almost silhouette quality of this image.

Sitting on the Job Sitting on the Job

I always feel a little weird when taking photos of people I don’t know. You never know how someone will react. This shot was taken at Lang Pioneer Village and one of the employees who was in costume was fully emerged in what she was doing, and I though it would make a good black and white shot.

Flower Flower

I took this shot of a flower in my backyard with some close-up filters on one of my film cameras. I love how blurry the background is, drawing your eye right to the centre. I love the simplicity of this shot too, and the fact that you can make out the grain in the film.

Playing With Toys Playing With Toys

The above shot was taken using a new (to me) Nikon F80 camera with some Kodak black and white film. It was the first time I had used the camera and was pleasantly surprised at how sharp the focus was.

Fangs Fangs

This shot was captured on a Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 and really captures the goofy character of my son. I love both the tones and the side-lighting from the window.

Canoeing on the Indian River Canoeing on the Indian River

The above shot was taken high on a ridge overlooking the Indian River at the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area, that me and some close friends were camping at back in June. It wasn’t really a “photo trip” but I brought my camera along anyway, and am pleased with how this turned out.

Starting Photography Young Starting Photography Young

My son loves taking photos. We were letting him use an older Nikon Coolpix, but that camera isn’t working right now, so I let him use my Nikon D3100 and he loved it. We spend the whole morning at the Peterborough Zoo taking pictures, talking, and playing at the park. It was a really great day.

BBQ and Friends BBQ and Friends

I like this photo simply because it shows two friends being just that… friends. It is something that I feel we don’t have many pictures of. We’re always taking pictures of our kids, or some landscapes, or whatever, and miss out on simply capturing moments between the people in our lives.

Having a Blast Having a Blast

My youngest son has the best eyes to photograph. Depending on the light, they sometimes appear really blue. Usually he has a runny nose or something on his face, but this is one of those rare moments when he’s smiling and happy.

Lockheed Hercules CC130 Lockheed Hercules CC130

Back in the summer, I thought it would be fun to go with my dad and son to the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, ON. There were a bunch of aircraft on display, both inside and outside the main building. The shot above just screamed to be a panorama, so that’s what I did.

Back to School Back to School

This is one of my classic back to school shots of my son. We usually do a couple more serious shots, before getting silly. In this shot, I got up on a chair to shoot down and did a Dutch angle for something different, which seemed to work out well with both his pose and the background. Aside from the photo technicalities, I like this shot because of the context.

Reindeer Lichen Reindeer Lichen

This shot was taken handheld in Algonquin Provincial Park back in September using a couple stacked close-up filters. The colour version was lame, so I flipped it to black and white to highlight the contrast and texture. I also love the narrow depth of field.

Rock Lake From Booth's Rock Trail Rock Lake From Booth’s Rock Trail

The above shot I had pictured in my head weeks before arriving in Algonquin. I was up before dawn to hike up to Booth’s Rock and when I got there, everything below me was shrouded in a thick layer of fog. Over the following hour, the fog slowly receded from the lake (from left to right). You can still see some of the fog covering the water in the far right of the image. I love this shot for so many reasons including the solitude of the location, the colours and the general shape and composition lending itself perfectly to do a panorama.

Lookout Over Whitefish Lake Lookout Over Whitefish Lake

I’ve never really been one to take pictures of myself. However, from a photographic point of view, adding a human element to a scene adds interest and helps give a sense of scale. While in Algonquin, I started experimenting with adding myself to various photos to mix it up a bit. The shot above was taken on the Centennial Ridges Trail early in the morning. I think adding myself to the shot emphasizes both the solitude and grandeur of the area.

The Winding Road The Winding Road

The above shot was another one I had pictured in my head several weeks before. Just behind where I was standing was a small parking area for about 3 or 4 cars. About 10 cars were actually jammed in there, and I was parked on the side of the road. Everyone was down by the water taking photos, but I just wanted this shot of the road. Due to the sheer number of people and therefore traffic in Algonquin that weekend, I had to wait a while to get a shot that was car-free. I think it was worth the wait.

The Maman Statue The Maman Statue

The above shot has been done a million times… in daylight, so I wanted to try something a little different. In November a good friend of mine and myself went on a photo trip to Ottawa and I was blown away by the amount of cool stuff to shoot. For this shot, I got down low to the ground so the statue would have this War of the World vibe to it.

Rideau Falls Rideau Falls

The above shot is probably my favourite of the year. I wrestled for quite a while between the colour and black and white versions of this image. The colour version had this awesome purple/blueish tone to it due to the sunset, but the black and white version had great contrast. Also, I’m impressed of the overall sharpness of this shot. Seriously considering getting this one printed on aluminium.

Lake of Two Rivers Lake of Two Rivers

When I took this shot from the side of the road, there was barely enough light to see anything. I like this shot because of the simple composition, reflection, and overall tone.

Museum Museum

I love a good night time photo walkabout. Usually my night photos include some kind of long exposures with streaking car lights, but when I saw the subway entrance, I wanted to focus on the movement of the people versus the cars. I got a couple odd looks from passers-by, but that just comes with the territory I guess.

Underside of Pont Alexandra Underside of Pont Alexandra

I might have a slight obsession with photographing symmetry. I love the shot above for it’s lines, composition, texture and contrast. The colour image didn’t have quite the same impact.

Kids Kids

These are my two boys. They wrestle, cry, and are always on the go. I’m still in disbelief that I actually got this shot. They are both looking into the camera at the same time and both smiling (somewhat). I also, think that their expressions perfectly capture their personality. Technically, it was a little overexposed, but the photo was still workable.

In previous years, I never really had any photographic goals, other than to get out more and shoot as often as possible. This year, I think I’d like to focus on making more quality black and white photos. To take the time to visualize a scene without colour and focus on shapes, textures, lines, contrasts will hopefully improve my photography as a whole. I also hope to shoot more film and start to develop and print my own work in our local darkroom. I’ve already taken an intro to the darkroom course and it really opened my eyes to a part of photography that I’ve never really given any thought to.

Thanks for reading! Have a safe and happy new years! – Kevin