top 10 photographs of 2018 – the journey

Originally inspired by pro-photographer Martin Bailey (website), I just compiled – what I most humbly consider – the 10 best photographs I took in 2018.

My target was to have a “top10 2018 collection”, containing 5 b&w and 5 “colour” images.

Adobe Lightroom (kind of a love-hate relationship) is a valuable tool to make cataloguing and selecting/grouping of pictures a relative breeze. I started out with app 1500 pictures, removed all family photos and selfies, leaving me with app 750 pictures. I removed the family pictures and selfies, because I’m not a particularly good and diligent people photographer and also to preserve some privacy. From the 750 I got to 80 within approximately 60 minutes. Then it got difficult.

the split

I’m really struggling to mix colour pictures with black and white images during the selection process, hence I decided to split the 80 into a “b&w” sub-collection and a “colour” sub-collection. After a bit more of “culling”, I ended up with 29 colour pics and 26 b&w. Then it got hard.

the last 26 of the b&w set

So a good two dozen b&w left: some determination was necessary. In one way or another, I liked all these images, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the final 26 (just to state the obvious).

the last 26 black and white images “standing”

First, I removed anything which still has (too) obvious flaws and second, cut images that IMHO lack “oompf”. I struggled quite some time to remove the two images showing the beautifully structured leaves. Then, out of the seven autumn/winter landscape pictures (second last and last row), some had to go as well.

the five chosen black&white

After some “fierce” debate with my two family-internal critiquers, I needed another 30 mins to reduce the selection down to the final “5”.

that was tough… so here we are: the FINAL FIVE!
the final stretch for the colour photographs
the last 29 “standing”

Left with 29, I removed those that had a story to tell, but the story didn’t come across as clearly or as evidently as I wanted to when taking the photograph. For instance the crane and the signboard about the monkeys.

down to 12 for the colour set
getting there, but still 7 (SEVEN!!!!) need to go
from 12 to 5

then it got painful, really really painful.
The fire-works shot: I was initially very pleased when I caught the fireworks, the smoke AND the lasers from Marina Bay Sands Casino in Singapore in one photograph. However, at closer, final inspection, there is too much noise and the composition isn’t quite there either.

The snow canons: When I spotted the lined-up canons, I immediately thought of a picture called something like “man vs nature”, because the canons were so neatly lined up “against” the mountains. I took a few pictures from different angles, thinking confidently that I “nailed” it. However during post-processing and the final stage of the selection process, I cringingly realised that the message is NOT coming across. Hence, it was mentally “painful”, that I missed this image, but quite straightforward to remove the photograph. And: I have a target to go this location (in Switzerland) and try again next year!

The bench and the colourful waterproof bags: “killed” by my two internal experts.

and here we are: the final 10
hooorrrayyyy – it’s done: the best of 2018 are chosen!!

I will elaborate in more detail on some of the images in an upcoming blogpost. For the moment I’m just very happy with the pictures and slightly exhausted from the selection process!