The end of 2014 marks the end of my fifth year on Flickr. Every year I have created a mosaic of my best Flickr photos with a Flickr app. And so I have done also this year. I pick the photos that have got most faves and the app creates the mosaic automatically. In this post I have marked the order of the photos in the captions. I see now that my photos are quite melancholy in tone this year, and it has indeed been a bit melancholy year. Both of my dear grandfathers passed away this year. I have written about them previously in my post Latitude 63 Degrees North and Wild & Free.
My most popular photo last year was the low-key monochrome shot of an Aquilegia in my grandmother’s garden. I took it in the middle of the day in bright sunlight just a few days before my grandfather’s funeral. It looked like something out of a fairytale so I named it Once Upon a Time. I like the way low-key can create a night-like atmosphere when used in bright sunlight. You can find a few other photos like that in this post as well, like for example Web of Light and At the River by Moonlight.
One needs to be very aware of the sources of light and the ways in which it reflects from different kinds of surfaces in order to succeed in a low-key shot. In the hunt of suitable opportunities for low-key shots, I sometimes feel like a chaser of light. For me, I suppose, it is everything in photography, leaving the choice of the objects or surroundings close to irrelevant. Only their forms and materials count, and the angle of light. I really like the challenge to create illusions by manipulating the camera. And still to this day I haven’t learned to post-process my photos. I suppose it is the legacy of the film for me. I found this approach to photography already when I only had a film camera, and it still continues to fascinate me.
In Echo and Greens and Whites I have also used the low-key technique, but this time in color. Whenever do this, I have a different goal in mind than with black and white. Turning day into night does not work on color, but instead I like the way light-colored objects with pop up from their backgrounds in a very intensive way. And I really like the way the green leaves in the background are just a hint of something more and their tone is much richer than it would be without the low-key technique.
Another popular photo last year was Buttercup Road. For me, yellow is a difficult color to capture, however buttercups have such an interesting form and capacity to encapsulate immense amounts of light. After the black and white shot called Buttercup Path that I took in 2010 I had been wanting to take up on the challenge to capture them also in color with lots of yellow bokeh dots in the background. I quite like the two buttercup shots, but I have a feeling that I’m not done with buttercups just yet.
Monte Sierra and Missing Venice are travel photos from my trip to the Dolomites in January. There is a post in my blog about the trip with more photos. The town of Sappada, where I took most of the mountain shots, was a wonderful secluded and friendly place to visit. Recommended for anyone to visit if you can take the icy mountain roads and tunnels. Because of my trip, however, I missed the deadline to Jim Goldstein’s Blog Project of the Best Shots of the year, which I will definitely try to catch this year. I have participated since 2010.
For my top ten of 2014 I have two more photos left and they are both landscape photos. Cry of the Spring Bird was shot during a walk on a nature reserve island. The April landscape was bare and the sun very low in the horizon early in the afternoon. And finally, there is the night shot called Salusjärvi, which is the name of the lake shown in the photo. I took it around midnight in mid-July. It does not get any darker than that at night-time around here during summer. It is amazing how everything turns blue at a certain hour.
Every year I also like to make a mosaic of the photos of my favorite Flickr people. You can find it here. I am most grateful for the people who come by to see my photos, also here in my blog. I wish you a wonderful new year.