I have a ”Photo Of The Month” collection in Lightroom. Every month I pick a favourite picture from that month’s crop, so each POTM is not necessarily among the best pictures of the year because not all months are created equal. Some months I have more – and better – keepers than others, but selecting pictures like this is a nice way of looking back at my years of photography.
Some of the pictures I’ve already posted in the blog, but here’s a recap of the whole year and the reason why these are my photos of the month:
January 2009 was a good month, but my favourite has to be one of the sunrise pictures where the cold mist was coloured orange by the rising sun. I arrived at my location just before the sunrise but the thing is that I got there in order to catch the moonset and was disappointed at first when I saw a bank of clouds in that direction. But then when I looked towards the sunrise and saw the mist, I was awestruck. An unexpected but magical moment!
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It seems to be a tradition for me to take a mini-holiday in the mountains to catch the full moon. On this particular trip I had major issues with my car and not so much luck with the moon either, but all of it just makes the trip that much more memorable. And it’s true that bad weather can be the photographer’s best friend – I love the simplicity the snowfall creates when it blocks everything except the closest objects.
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March 2009 was a surprisingly quiet month for me, I would normally expect the spring winter to provide more opportunities. Or maybe I just didn’t make use of them. My favourite of the month is thus a snapshot I took when I was bored while waiting for a squirrel to appear on a feeding site I had set up. Snowfall during the night had covered the forest and I got an intimate landscape picture with my 300mm lens.
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April is always a slow month for me, only November is worse. While the rising temperatures are nice, the landscape is anything but and it’s too early for flowers, too. But in the mountains there’s a good chance of catching good light and beautiful sceneries, so I drove to Lofsdalen for a snowshoe exercise in the Easter. The pictures were disappointing, but the day wasn’t!
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Things really start looking up in May and by that I mean that the macro lens is back in active duty, having stayed on the shelf all winter. The choice of flowers is not very big though so year after year, I try to come up with a new idea to play with. This year it was high key – white flowers on white background. Not something I normally do, but the results were rewarding.
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The flower season is in full swing and the biggest problem is to decide which flowers to concentrate on – there’s too little time to get them all. The lady’s slippers are hard to ignore though so I keep coming back to them but this year I came back with something new – budding slippers, or ”baby slippers” as I also called them. This particular picture is probably my favourite of the whole year!
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July is normally the busiest month of the year. There’s flowers and landscape a-plenty, and a summer holiday in the mountains is a big deal for creativity. So rather surprisingly, the photo of the month for July 2009 is a white waterlily picture I took close to home. White waterlily is a favourite flower of mine and I never get tired of them!
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Despite visiting the mountains many times a year, I’ve never been there in August, until now. Autumn is already in the air and the landscape starts to turn colour and then if you’re really lucky, you get a break in the clouds at sunset and all that scouting and chasing the light finally pays off. A few minutes of pure magic.
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During the summer of 2009, I found a lot of new places around home. Some of them were great, others were a bit disappointing, but then there’s this one place which became an instant favourite. The little brook is running over red cliffs, surrounded by rocks and pine forest, and it’s easy to reach. If there’s something else I should ask for a place, then I can’t think of it at the moment. It’s not grand landscape by any measure, but it is as beautiful as it gets in my eyes!
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Having mentioned this new favourite of mine in September, it was definitely worth visiting in October as well. It was a sunny morning but the night had been cold, as witnessed by the frost. When I saw the log, I just had to shoot it. Maybe it didn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped for, but the moment was very special, just like the whole day.
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My photography is dead in the water. November is just a long wait for the snow, but this year I was saved from the boredom by the little birds that visited my new bird feeding site. The birds get to eat their fill and I get to photograph them, I think it’s a good deal for all! This particular day was foggy and it obscured the trees in the background, leaving me just the bird and the branch. Black and white seemed to be the right way to process this, which is a rare thing for me.
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The winter took off for real. A snow front had left the landscape completely covered and my biggest problem was to be out in time before the rising temperatures would start stripping the trees bare. I drove to one of the new locations I had found in the summer, and was deliriously happy to be walking around in the winter forest, even if I did sink in some small water holes on occasion…