Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favourite Photos of 2013

I took a lot of photos this year.

From photo walks to photo studios, from special events to getaways. And, of course, there has been my Bate Island Project, which will continue until March 10, for as long as I cross the Champlain Bridge.

As we say goodbye to 2013, I thought I'd share what I feel are the best photos that I took over the year.

I started 2013 with a New Year's drive around Wakefield and its environs. And I couldn't stop in Wakefield without checking out the town's covered bridge.

 A couple of months after joining a photography group, I signed up for a nude model shoot. Besides the challenge of working in low lighting, I was also challenged with overcoming working with a person with no clothes on. And, after the shoot, I debated whether I would ever share any of my work on my blog. In the end, I decided to post this one photo.

Of all the nude shots I took on that day and since, this one is my favourite.

In March, I decided that I wanted to start a 365 photo project. Originally, I was going to use the theme of the selfie, but because I don't like photographing myself, I decided against it (although, I will be doing that project, after all, starting on my 49th birthday).

In search for a new theme for a year-long project, I decided to stop on Bate Island because of the mist that came off the river and hung, as frost, on the trees. It was when I took the following photo that I came up with my Bate Island Project.

During Winterlude, I organized a winter photo walk. Sadly, that evening brought a blizzard with high winds, lots of snow, and frigid temperatures. But the brave folks who showed up persevered and we managed to walk through the Korean art and ice sculptures. This tunnel of lanterns was the highlight of the exhibit.

But Winterlude also brought a beer festival, and I was hired to be the official photographer. The centrepiece of the festival was a giant ice bar from Beaus. It was so cold on that weekend, that there was no fear of the bar melting. My challenge, however, was keeping my camera battery from freezing.

One of my favourite parts of the city is the Byward Market, including Major's Hill Park and the National Gallery. And, when I think of the gallery, I can't help but think of Maman, the large spider sculpture out front. The challenge for me is finding new ways to capture this incredible piece of art.

Another favourite is a photo I took that looks like I applied effects in post processing, but did not. The closeup of the eternal flame on Parliament Hill made the background look like a painting, but it was the heat from the fire that did that.

One effect that I did play with over the year was applying the HDR look to a single photo. And then playing with the photo afterward. 

In the spring, the family and I went down to Mississauga for a dance competition. While I find that this giant bedroom community is largely dull from a photographic perspective, there is one place that draws my eyes: the Absolute Towers near the Square One Mall. Standing under the twin towers, it's easy to get dizzy from the twisted forms. They just scream, "shoot me."

In my photo club, I don't just shoot female models.

One of my highlights of 2013 was getting away for a weekend with my best friend, to one of my favourite cities. Our objective was simple: find great coffee, find great beer, and shoot as many photos as we could in the process.

The photo that I shot in DUMBO, Brooklyn, was later touched up with the HDR effect. And while I tried to avoid using that technique as much as possible, I did use it every now and then. For example, in the following photo, shot at the Britannia Yacht Club, just after sunset.

For vacation, the family and I canoed from Kingston to Ottawa, along the Rideau Canal system. On our second morning, at Jones Falls, I captured what I think is the best photo of the trip.

But when I posted it with other photos from the trip on my Flickr album, others found another shot to be better. The following photo is the most-liked photo by others (I like it, too).

Finally, one of my favourite photos of 2013 started off by being a photo I didn't like at all and almost deleted. But the more I played with it, the more it grew on me, and it ended up being used as the wallpaper for my office computer.

So, these are my favourite photos that I shot in 2013. I hope that 2014 pushes me to my limit. I hope you enjoy what I come up with.

Thanks for following my blog, and have a Happy New Year. I wish you much success and happiness.


  1. I prefer the Merrickville photo to the Jones Falls one too. Too bad you didn't tell people where it was taken. That bit of fog makes it magical.