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« Tickertape 2012 | Main | Passing the Garage »

Top 10 Photographs of 2011

StreetObservations.com - Time for my annual discipline of selecting the Top 10 Photographs I have taken over the course of the year.  In this case, we will select the year 2011 as it is fresh.  As always it is difficult to decide on only 10 shots, I had about 25 finalists as candidates.  And, this year my selection of "descent" shots, ones I've posted somewhere, was over 300.  I am pleased and feel productive this year.

This is the seventh year that I've done this exercise of selection (that would go back to 2005), although certainly I took many photos during the prior years as well, I just didn't do the annual review.  

Like last year, there are two iPhone pictures that have made the cut.  I will point them out below.  Those two pictures would not have been taken without the accessibility of the device.  I saw the subject and then looked for a camera and there the iPhone was.  For Christmas this year (2011), I bought myself the new iPhone 4s.  The camera on the 4s is a major upgrade over my iPhone 3GS, so we will hope there is some added appeal to the pictures for next year.  

While last year I made an effort to travel to a photogenic vacation spot (that was via a cruise from Venice, Italy to Greece).  This year's trip was coincidentally to Venice again (but this time it was Venice Beach, California).  So, there were the sunset shots and some California culture shots you can see in the overall series viewed by the link.  

Also, this year I've embraced using Google+ for my primary online photography posts.  While I still upload my shots to Flickr, the major activity is now over on the Google+ page which has a growing community of photographers.  Also, I've been posting more to Facebook since they upgraded the size to which the pictures are displayed.  

During the year, I was selected to be interviewed in the Streets in Colo(u)r interview on Flickr, where I got an opportunity to discuss how I go about capturing and processing my images.  

So, here are the Top 10 presented chronologically as taken over the course of the year. (Click each picture to see it larger). Some of the photos have been previously discussed in my StreetObservations.com blog. Clicking (More...) when you see it will take you back to those entries.

1. Reflecting on Rain - This is one of the iPhone shots, taken in Harrison, NJ, a site where there is a lot of construction taking place.  The buildings behind are to be a new residential housing complex and the land in front is a parking lot that is primarily used when the Red Bull soccer team has games at the nearby arena.  I saw the girl coming and rushed to get my iPhone out, and happened to get her in full stride with my only shot.  

Reflecting on Rain

2. Watching a Crumb Disappear - I was up in Greenwich Village and was drawn to the brick background.  The girl was primarily listening on her phone call and occupied herself watching the birds eating some crumbs on the street below.  I like the pose and posture of the girl, also the pink dress is a nice match to the wall behind.

Watching a Crumb Disappear

3. Breakfast Break -  This building at 195 Broadway is a popular spot for the workers who are building the new skyscrapers at the World Trade Center site to sit and have their breakfast.  The columns gave a nice framework for the construction workers.  (More...)   

Breakfast Break

4. To the Light and Beyond - This is an atrium area next to the Federal Reserve building (which is behind).  On another occasion I took a picture from within (where the people are in this shot) and I was told to vacate as photography was not allowed since it is private property.   I did get this shot though before leaving which is an interesting reverse angle.   I also liked that complementary shot and also considered it for the Top 10.  

To the Light and Beyond

5. Caffeine on the Edge - This is the second iPhone shot.  I was taking a coffee break at work and had just finished filling my cup.  As I was reaching for some sugar, I noticed that the cup was positioned right on the edge of the counter and bordering the sink.  The composition really appealed to me and I grabbed my phone and got this shot.  I like photo so much that I framed it and put on the wall of the dining area at home.

Caffeine on the Edge

6. Tentacles - With my new interest in posting pictures to Google+, I became involved with a group of photographers who like to band together and take photographs in groups.  I learned about a photowalk that took place in Greenwich Village.  A number of us took shots of the basketball court on Sixth Avenue and I was pleased with this particular shot of one of the players.  I got a number of other photowalk shots I was pleased with, as I was inspired by the other talented photographers.   


7. Sunset Heartbreaker - Venice Beach, California... I got a number of sunset shots, but this one tells a story.  Whether it is a true story is another matter.

Sunset Heartbreaker

8. Bicyclist - After daylight savings time went away, I found it was just a bit too dark to take stop action street shots during the evening commute.  In this case, I took the opportunity to work on my panning technique.  That's a slow shutter speed while following the subject with the camera.  This bicyclist came out a bit surreal.  I talked about other shots taken at the same time on my StreetObservations blog.  (more...) 


9. The View - This one is a bit personal.  I've written before about the Farmhouse that we used to go to when I was a kid up in the Catskills mountains.    Generally, whenever I returned for a nostalgia visit, the view that I remembered so well as a child was obscured by fog, but for the trip this year everything was crystal clear.  

The View

10. Using Your Weight - I've had a birdseye view of the new construction taking place at the World Trade Center site as my office is directly across the street.  I've posted a number of pictures taken at various times of the action below in my WTC Down Below, 9/11 View and Three Hundred Feet Above the President posts.  The immediate view out of my office of the Hudson River has now been replaced by the skyscraper rising called Four World Trade Center.  Each day I would track the progress and the installation of the windows finally got to the 32nd floor where I sit.  As they placed the large plates of glass, the technique called for the construction worker to hop up and down to pound the glass into place.  I caught him in mid-hop here.  

Using Your Weight

Those are the Top 10 photos for this year.  For reference, my previous selections go back to six years and can be found here:  2010200920082007,2006, and 2005.   

If you'd like to follow my work this year, either subscribe to my StreetObservations.com blog, add me to a circle on Google+, or bookmark my Flickr page.  I think it's going to be a great year.  

Happy New Year!

Reader Comments (2)

Amazing! I like this top 10 photos great shots John. What camera do you used to take this pictures?

- Shelena

January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFederal Posters

They are all winners for me! Great list!

January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

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