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February 04, 2011


I put together a Top 25 for 2010, but I am a rank amateur and still working on finding my vision. As a result it was difficult, at least in part for the sheer variety of photos I took last year. Quality-wise, I don't think I could choose a single theme and have more than 2 or 3 I consider good.

But, as you suggest, having last year as a basis I think I could chose a single theme and next year put together a top 10.

I do a somewhat different thing around New Year: on my blog I post one picture per calendar month for the previous year.
It can become frustrating; one month may have not a single picture I really like, while the next has four or five of my favourites of the year but I can pick only one. I also try to pick images that say something about what we've been doing over the year, so the image itself isn't the only criterion. The exercise really helps me see my images in a different way though.


I really, really like your #1; the strict geometry, the abstract treatment and the muted color palette is pretty striking to me (it says something about current photography when images stand out for not looking like Velvia dipped in LSD). It's one of those images where you can keep looking and find new details and relationships between the elements.

#7 is also cool, in a similar way. Abstract and geometrical, but simpler and punchier than the first. I suspect I'd tire of it much sooner than #1.

The other ones mostly don't really stand out for me. Perhaps it's because they're grouped together, but they all kind of become similar to each other. Seeing only one, without the others in context may well change my impression of them.

Gordon, because you asked.In order of preference: 7-may be the strongest image.3,1,13-scissors shadow makes the shot.Not that it is a weak image but I think 5 would be more interesting without the man in the foreground.

I keep coming back to number 12. It's right up my alley. But also 1, 11 and 15 are to my liking. I keep thinking how coherent your "best of" is. Just as you have been discussing here this year. Impressive. My own "best of" is not that coherent, although I'm not dissatisfied at all.

I like No. 1 as well. It has a good feeling and a senes of balance. The red shirt to grab my eye without so much that you get stuck on it.

I'm also drawn to No 8 but the feet in the top left seem to lessen the impact. I love the balance of geometry enhanced by color. This is a good example of "less is more".

I could be wrong- but I can tell you're a (graphic) designer at heart. Unlike another comment made, I do like to see them altogether as thumbnails. Your favorite looked like a guy in jail- something oppressive about the walled in look.

I always liked your work. Maybe because I like to visually read things in a similar way--though don't know if I have the talent.

I would buy the 6th, 8th and 14th. The 4th the best (for me), it has something that makes it so strong.

My favorite by far, from the first time I saw it is #15. The composition of the shadows reminds me of Henri-Cartier Bresson. The composition in #4 gets high praise also. The rest are very viewable and enjoyable in a Gordon Lewis kind of way. The subject looking into the camera is what makes #9 and would not work in #'s 2,3,4,5,6.

It's a strong and coherent body of work for a single year. Numbers 1 and 15 are the ones I like best, and I really like them. Numbers 13 and 14 also appeal.
To me, number 6 is the shot that says the least to me, although I can't really determine why. I like the shadows, the strong lines produced from the architecture, and your often present single walking figure, but for me it just doesn't come together. Perhaps it's because of the greenery in the background that introduces another element; I'm not sure.

>>number 6 is the shot that says the least to me... Perhaps it's because of the greenery in the background that introduces another element; I'm not sure.<<

Funny you mention that, Lesley. I was originally going to upload a monochrome version for just that reason. Maybe I should have trusted my first instincts more.

>>I can tell you're a (graphic) designer at heart.<<

Thanks, Fred. I admire good graphic design and think I have an eye for it. As you can see from the graphic design of Shutterfinger, however, I'm no competition for the true professionals. Hiring someone for a re-design is on my to-do list. (It's not at the top of the list, mind you, but it's there.)

These photos really resonate with me. They're the kind of thing I try to do, though not as well.

I like number 8 the best. The angle of the curb, the angle of the legs, and the angles in the lines in the sidewalk all contrasting with that lovely red ball--just great.

I also really like the delicately beautify #8, and also #7 and #1 are images I'd considering hanging on my wall, if I had wall space, which I alas don't. I'd absolutely buy a book of your photos, though.

(#3, #6, and #11 are the least successful for me. I think I see what you're doing, but they don't grab my eye.)

I decided to try doing my own "best-of". I take several different kind of photos, so I decided to do one set for each type (results at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed_gaillard/collections/72157625860277835/ ).

It was interesting. Selecting the street shots and candid/street portraits was easiest. I had a lot of shots that were pretty good, but let down by poor composition, bad selection of background, and so on. For those subjects, my aim for this year is to make next year's selections harder by improving my skills so I have more shots that are harder to cull.

Selecting the birds and other naturey stuff was very hard, because there were a lot of shots that were of a similar level. I recall Mike Johnston writing something like, "everyone's flower and insect macros look pretty much the same", and I think that's what happened there. I'm not sure what to do about that, but anyway improving my street-type photos is more important to me.

Sorry to run on so long.

I like the pictures with people. They make me think of Magritte or Hopper. I would definitely buy 4 and probably 1 and 3 if I could. Ten would be the next one.

It's funny to see how people differ so much in their tastes. I am not that crazy about found geometry, 15 is not that interesting for me.

I must also say that seeing the whole set made me see your style in a more consistent way. When I see just one image I don't realize the work you put in your photography. Seems like a casual lucky finding, but seeing them all together makes one realize the effort you put to reach that certain style.

Great work Gordon, let us know if you plan a limited edition of #4.

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