Martin Bailey from The Arcanum challenged all the members of my cohort to select the best 10 photos from 2014. This is a tough exercise given the vast amount of photos I have in my archive. But it also hones your image selection skills and might even help you recognize quality standards you might use next time when you are shooting. In short, it helps you to improve and hopefully take better photos in the future. As a plus, it also takes you down memory lane and lets you relive last year’s most beautiful photo moments.
It took my 3 passes to get down to 10 photos. The initial collection consisted of 93 photos. The second one was cut down to 15. So far it was not so difficult as there had been a few similar shots in first selection. The hardest part was removing the last five images. I am very fond of all of them. Before I show you the images, here is are some thoughts and tips that might help you, should you try to do the same.
1. Let go of all emotional attachments to your images. Try to see the images with someone else’s eyes. This is based on my experience that photos can be meaningful for us for other reasons than their visual impact. Maybe I finally captured a moment or subject or pose or whatever I have always tried to capture or I found a new visual style that I am proud of or I solved a difficult processing issue or maybe the image reminds me of a funny situation that occurred or a good feeling I had while shooting (and that may not be visible in the image). This kind of meaning can get in the way in te selection process because we are reluctant to not include images that are dear to us or we are blind to certain technical or visual problems of the image because we are proud on what we achieved in other areas of the image.
2. On the other hand, when it comes down to removing the last 2-5 images from your selection, emotions might be your best guide. In my case, I picked the 10 images I felt least reluctant to remove. Obviously, with only 15 images left, visual considerations (like image quality or composition) shouldn’t be an issue anymore. They are all good. Seeing through somebody else’s eyes to get a more objective perspective might not help you anymore at this point. So, surrender to the force and make your choice.
3. Let go of the notion that removing an image from your selection means that the image is bad. It is not. It may even be fantastic. Consider yourself happy and allow yourself to be proud of all the great shots you have taken in the last twelve months. Others might have picked other images from your archive, even the one you have just removed. But this is your personal selection. It is based on your taste and feelings.
But now, without further ado, check out my top ten images for 2014… or do so again, if you have done it already. Enjoy!