Once again I notice I have been a very lazy blogger. It was quite a topsy-turvy year, 2014. I didn’t shoot as much as before, but now that things are finally settling down in my life, I hope to have a bit more time for photography again. Not to even mention promoting my photography, ahem… (On a sidenote – I did activate my Instagram account this year, feel free to follow. I’m under the username “yavannie” and post rather random iPhone shots.)
What made me sit down and start typing today was the example of quite a few of my photographer friends. They’ve followed in the footsteps of Ansel Adams, who famously said: “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
I don’t think I can do this so that there’s one picture per month, but let’s see if there could be 12 per a year.
For January, I choose this, from my first photo walk of 2014. Simple, minimalistic, symmetric. Became surprisingly popular in Flickr (22,000+ views, I was rather stoked about it, as this was the first time a photo of mine got such huge numbers of viewers) and I sold a print of it, too.
For February there’s no contest, if a photo needs to be personally significant. As in “important to me”. It’s the first smile my nephew (born on 1st of Jan, 2014) gave me – he’s posing like a pro and melting his aunt’s heart. Technically, not a brilliant picture, but my gosh, ever so significant. (There would’ve been another shot that is even more significant, but since it wasn’t taken by me, it’s not included. Very good things happened to me in February!)
My charming nephew
In March I was already shooting film with a lovely old Yashica-A. But since I made a whole separate post about those shots, I’ll pick a foggy (digital) favourite of mine for the third image.
April wasn’t much of a photo month for me, apparently. I can’t say there were any really significant shots that would deserve to be showcased. We’ll hop along and see if May helps – June definitely will.
I didn’t get to do as much of rock photography in 2014 as I would’ve liked. Sure, mostly it was because I simply didn’t have as much time for gigs as during 2013, but partly also because the online rock mag I write & shoot for (Stalker.cd) has other people covering gigs in Helsinki and I can’t always travel to Helsinki for a concert. No time, no money. That’s why May’s significant shot is from the album release gig of the excellent Brother Firetribe. They played their first gig after a long break and the guys were absolutely brilliant to watch and listen. Their positive energy filled the venue to the brim, it was awesome. My only regret was that my equipment isn’t always up to the task when forced to shoot from a distance. But still, this shot shows the enthusiasm of both the band and the audience. A fab evening with BFT, for sure. Here’s the review I wrote about the gig.
Brother Firetribe at Virgin Oil Co., Helsinki
Ah, June. One of the best months of my life. Why? I spent half of it in Rome! The first time ever visiting the Eternal City – and I got to spend two weeks there, wow. It was overwhelming, awesome, incredible, fantastic. So much so that after my trip I couldn’t even go over my photos properly, I had totally OD’d on Rome. I still have the photo book (and blog post) to do… Hahah! Two significant shots from June. A quirky one and a lucky one. Love them both. They’re the best bits of Rome for me.
Who wants straight lines anyway?
Not all with wings can fly
In July I did get to shoot the DBTL rock festival in Turku and my very first wedding, which were both hugely significant to me in different ways. But I’m still going to go for a shot of some really beautiful noctilucent clouds I caught on a beautiful July night. It has a strong personal significance and I suppose it’s not too bad as a photograph, either. Heh.
Two hours after sunset
August photo is of my nephew again. Sorry to be predictable, but he’s just been a perfect little model for his aunt to learn some infant photography. In available natural light. While he keeps crawling around. But mostly he’s just intensively observing me and the weird black object covering my face. Now, at one year old, he spots me with a camera and he just can’t take his eyes off it. He’s going to be a photographer – or a model, for sure! As for this shot, it’s uncharacteristically serious, but I just can’t get over his eyes. He’s so intent, so thoughtful, so present. I’m happy I caught this moment.
September was, once again, the month of morning mists and my second annual sunrise photoshoot trip to Mathildedal. I wrote a separate post about it, so suffice it to say here that I’m so going to do this again in 2015.
Mists of Mathildedal
October. A very stressful month at work in 2014, but there was a balancing factor. Fall vacation. Which, quite unbelievably, I spent in Greece. Sailing in the Aegean Sea, island hopping in the Cyclades. I never thought I’d get to experience something like that. It was, without a doubt, one of the best weeks of my entire life. (And it deserves a separate post, I’ll get to it eventually, I’m sure.) I could pick several significant shots from that trip, it was hard not to get good shots when the surroundings were what they were. But out of all, I chose this one to be the significant shot. It’s from a day when we sailed from Mykonos to Finikas Bay. Or, well, sailed is an incorrect term here. It was flat out windless all day, so this leg of the trip was completely engine powered. My fellow crew member Wille (an experienced sailor, whereas I am a complete newbie) stood watching the still sea, I had to snap a shot. You know, sun setting, calm seas, silhouettes… I just love it.
In November I got the camera out twice. Which should tell you volumes of my November. It was dark, depressing and in no way photographically inspiring. Work was a hassle, I was tired all the time and hated the rainy blackness of it all. Blah. No significant shots of any importance. So, let’s move on to December.
December was significant in the sense that I got myself a new camera. In order to survive a wedding photo shoot in January (potentially just as wet and dark as in November…), I had to upgrade. Bring on a brand new Canon 6D + a Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I need to sell a lot of prints and book plenty of shoots before they’re paid for, but in December I’ve been getting acquainted with my new gear. Which is why the significant shots aren’t photography master pieces as such, but significant steps technically speaking.
NYE in Helsinki
So there. My crop of 2014. I’m pleased with the year, even though I didn’t photograph as much as during the two previous years. However, this year included two amazing trips full of photo opportunities, my first wedding shoot, plenty of fun with film cameras and on a highly personal level – a man who patiently waited for me to catch some of these shots. And if that’s not a good year, I don’t know what is. Oh, wait. 2015 will be even better!