Debuting a new feature on my blog this year, at the end of each month I'll take a look back at some of my favorite new images. I say favorite instead of best for a couple of reasons. One being the subjectivity of photography, as often shots that may appeal to one person don't necessarily do it for another, and I feel the favorite over best distinction better acknowledges this and invites personal interpretation. Also, as I continue to grow as a photographer I find that originality, experimentation, depth and story are all contributing factors that- beyond the aesthetics- can make an image truly meaningful. Through this series I'll probably share a lot of photos that will never be displayed for sale at an art festival, but are included because of the personal satisfaction or lessons acquired through their creation (and when applicable, I'll take this opportunity to explain why.)
Unfortunately January proved to be kind of chaotic for me, and I actually only got out with my camera once this past month- on New Year's morning. I have a tradition of photographing the sunrise of every new year, but as a winter storm settled in and limited both views and mobility I ended up simply stepping out in the yard at the official moment of daybreak (sight unseen) for a commemorative photo this time around. It was still snowing hard and overcast, but I was drawn to the following composition for the way the dark tree trunks and branches stood in contrast against the storm.
Though that will have to do for my official sunrise photo of 2023, it wasn't my first shot of the year... and the image with that honor is actually one that I got a little more creative with. I rent an apartment off the back of an older home which my landlords converted to an Air B'nB last year- and I serve as caretaker/on-site manager as a second job (or third, or fourth, depending on what else I have going on at a given time...) We didn't have any guests over the holiday weekend, so as I stalled waiting for that "sunrise" shot above, I stepped over to check on things and noticed this cool view through one of the funky port-style windows in the office. I used a telephoto lens to isolate and compress the scene, exposing for the snow that seemed to glow under diffused street light in the hazy pre-dawn, and turned off all interior lighting to frame the shot using the darkened room. Once again, not an image that's going to bolster my backcountry credentials- but it's fun to use your understanding of how the camera will "see" a scene to capture a unique photo.
A bit later that morning I took a short walk in a local park, enjoying the heavy snow that continued to fall. I'll let those images speak for themselves- the following being my favorites to round out this post. Winter is such a wonderful time for photography, and I certainly hope to get out a little more in the month ahead.