Well, we can certainly chalk up 2020 as a most unusual year! Let’s hope and pray we can get back to some sort of normalcy in 2021. I spent most of the year hunkered down at home but still managed to have fun photographing the world around me. So, I thought I would keep my tradition of picking my top ten favorite images of the year and the stories behind them. I always find the photo review process enlightening and would recommend it to everyone who has a passion for photography. Reflecting on the past year certainly has its challenges this year. But picking your favorite images will provide insight on where you have been, the people you met, and maybe a little peek into the future.
So once again, in no particular order, here are my top ten favorite images of 2020 and the stories behind them.
2:20 Underwater – This photo was created from two images as I was stuck at home for way too long early in the year. After a couple of months in Covid isolation, I could not help but think we were in a different time warp. . . our lifestyle “underwater” so to speak. 2:20 Underwater reflects my feelings at the time. Although we may be surfacing soon, it still feels like our life is still underwater.
Fragile – Indian Harbour Beach, FL – I really like the leading lines and simplicity of this image. It also tells a story. On one of our beach walks, my wife Nancy and I couldn’t help but notice this shell rolling in the edge of the surf. It was beat up with cracks and holes. Our thoughts turned to our current stuck-at-home situation. A little beat up but still going. Life is fragile. You never know what challenges you may face tomorrow. But the important thing is to keep going. . . even when you are a little beat up.
1411 – Eau Gallie, FL – The colorful reflections in the unique antique frames make this image a favorite for me. I routinely go for a photo walk in the same little Arts District near my home. Every walk reveals new things to see. My walk always takes me by this same old garage. The reflections in the antique glass always tell a different story. Even with the same old glass, you can see new things if you look again with a new perspective. Probably good insight as we move into 2021.
Skimmer Art – Indian Harbour Beach, FL – I love this high-key image and feeling of motion in this photo of a Black Skimmer. I certainly don’t call myself a bird photographer. In all honesty, I don’t have the patience for it. However, I find the Black Skimmer a fascinating bird. A seabird commonly seen on Florida beaches gracefully fly low over shallow waters with their lower mandible skimming the water for small fish. I especially like this image because it captures both the art and motion of their graceful flight.
Summer’s End – Eau Gallie, FL – Another simple image that tells a story. In his book, The Art of Photography, Bruce Barnbaum suggests there are two important aspects of good composition. Unified thought is one: simplicity is the other. This simple image suggests the summer straw hat is no longer needed so a makeshift hat rack comes in handy. I especially like the way the shadow pattern reflects the straw patterns in the hat. I wonder who the owner is and what was growing in their garden.
A New Day – Cocoa Beach, FL – I really like the sunrise starburst in this capture of the Cocoa Beach Pier. Some beach walks are just relaxing and help recharge my batteries. Others are more meaningful. On this walk, with the global health crisis all around us, I realized just like every sunrise, there is a new day coming. Scripture suggests great things come in the “fullness of time”. A new day is coming. Maybe not fast enough for most of us, but coming, nevertheless.
Together – Cocoa Beach, FL – Clouds and storms fascinate me. The people in this image not only tell us a story but also give us a sense of scale. We live in a big world but some of the most special moments we can have is spending time gazing at the natural world around us. One of the positive things to come from our stormy 2020 is that most of us have found ourselves spending more alone time together with our immediate family. We have learned a little more about each other. Gotten a little closer. . .and grown a little more thankful for each other. Unfortunately, many have also lost or been separated from loved ones. My hope is that you have the good fortune of spending quality time with your loved ones in 2021.
Boneyard Beach – Big Talbot Island, FL – I really like the mood and interesting lines in this image. One of my favorite places to visit is Boneyard Beach on Big Talbot Island, FL. The majesty of the dead trees alone on the beach is breathtaking as the new day breaks. Walking this beach feels like you are walking hallowed ground. Naturalists suggests the older dead trees perform an important task of holding the beach in place, protecting the living trees above the dune. It is an interesting analogy to the legacy friends and family leave us. . . guiding us and holding us up even after their passing. It is especially comforting in this new year.
Warp Speed – Melbourne, FL – I really like the feeling of motion and the colorful lines in this image. It feels like the car is really traveling at warp speed don’t you think? Do you ever feel like life is flying by? I had that feeling as I captured this image of my wife in a drive-through light display. The gift of life seems to fly by at Warp Speed. All the more reason to make it meaningful. Personal Development author John Rohn suggests we can make our life more meaningful if we live by 4 Powerful Little Words that Make Life Worthwhile. He says life is worthwhile if you Learn new things, Try new skills and experiences, Stay at it and see it through, and Care enough to set some records, to make a difference in someone else’s life, to leave everything you touch for the better. I hope to follow John’s advice in 2021.
Nancy – My last favorite photo of 2020 is of my lovely wife of 43 years. I am especially thankful for her support and encouragement, especially in this most difficult year. I am looking forward to a year of exploring and discovering the new world around us. Some of the most meaningful photos we can make are those of our loved ones. After all those are the photos you will most enjoy and be favored for generations. You may never know the family treasures you will leave behind. Above all else in the year ahead, make sure you capture and print photos of those special people in your lives, and the meaningful moments you shared.
I hope your 2021 is healthy and happy for you and your family. Take care and stay safe.. And as always, may the most remarkable photos be yours.