Editor's note: This month only – you can buy two of my favorite ebooks, The Creative Photographer and Square, for just $7 each! Limited time only – click the links to learn more. Thanks for reading, Andrew
At the end of every year it’s a good idea to go through your photos taken during the last 12 months and pick the best ten images. It’s an interesting exercise that helps you identify the themes and ideas that you have explored in your photos. It’s also helpful in the search for future ideas and projects.
The idea is to pick your best photos, rather than your favorites. This helps exclude images of family and friends that have emotional value for you but may not be of much interest to other people.
As you look through your photos ask yourself the following questions.
- What themes emerge as you select your best photos?
- What cameras and lenses did you use the most?
- Are you drawn to making photos of people, places or a mixture of the two?
- Are your best images color or black and white?
- What links can you find between your best images? Are they linked by subject matter or post-processing treatment?
- What ideas for future themes and projects emerge from your best images?
- How do your best images from 2016 compare to your best photos from 2015, 2014 and so on? Can you see an evolution from earlier photos to your present favorites?
- How can you improve on your best photos from 2016? What do you have to do to move on to the next level in 2017?
The answers will hopefully help inspire you and create even better photos in 2017.
My Best Photos From 2016
My best photos from 2016 were all made in Spain. It was a year of two halves – I spent the first few months concentrating on street photography, and the rest of the year on landscape photography.
The first five images were all made at carnival in Cadiz. Singing and performing is a big part of the carnival. The singers’ elaborate costumes make them an ideal subject for photography.
The last five images were made in the regions of Asturias and Galicia in northern Spain. This part of northern Spain is known for its beautiful coastal scenery that’s ideal for landscape photography.
I’ve selected these images as my best because they represent the two main themes that I explored throughout the year – street and landscape photography. Personally, I find the street photos most interesting and intend to expand more on this documentary approach to photography in the future.
I worked a lot in black and white in 2016, and in 2017 I intend to make a change and work a lot more in color.
In terms of future themes and projects I’d like to photograph more interesting cultural events in Europe.
The seventh photo in this selection suggests an interesting project photographing abandoned places. This is an idea I will explore further in 2017.
When I compare these photos with my best images from 2015 I can see that my favorites from 2015 all involved people. I would like to work more on photographing people in 2017.
Thanks for reading. You can get more great articles and tips about photography in my popular Mastering Photography email newsletter. Join today and I’ll send you 47 PhotoTips cards and my ebook Introducing Lightroom Classic . Over 30,000 photographers subscribe. Enter your email now and join us.