Saturday, December 21, 2013

Best of 2013

2013. Damn this year went by fast.

I remember the day that I wrote down my resolutions for this year like it was yesterday. Talking about those resolutions, which ones DID I accomplish this year? Maybe this post is the perfect way to reflect on what has been a very successful year for me. Here goes.

As a recap, my 2013 resolutions where:

- Getting Published again.
Well that has a huge check mark next to it. My work was published in Dodho Magazine, Camerapixo, Blur Magazine, Extraordinary Vision, Fstop Magazine and I had feature interviews in Adore Noir, Stark Magazine, ƒ11 Magazine and Slices of Silence. Check!

- Show my work in at least one gallery and learn how to write artist statements.
I did better. Ian Tan Gallery out of Vancouver now represents my work. I hope I can add a couple more galleries to that list in 2014. Check!

- Enter international competitions.
In 2013 I received 7 honorable mentions in the 2013 International Photo Awards and won a bronze medal at the 'La Prix de la Photography' international competition in the non-professional Nature/Trees category. Check!

- Shoot more film and dabble more in 4x5.
This was the first full year of photographing on film. Loving it! So much that I bought a 4x5 camera and that's going to take all my focus for next year. Check and Check.

- Meet up with more photographers.
A very long list. I had the pleasure to meet up with Chuck Kimmerle, Kevin Boyle, Marc Koegel, Rob Tiley, Benoit Jansen-Reynaud, Aleksandra Miesak and Didier Demaret. All who I greatly admire. So a big fat Check.

- Devour more photo books.
My wife bought me 2 signed photo books by Michael Kenna. I love those things. Every time I see something different where I go 'that's brilliant!'. I've also read 'The Camera', 'The Negative' and 'Examples' by Ansel Adams from front to back. Check.

- Explore more.
I didn't do a lot of exploring. I never went hiking this year deep in the mountains for example. But I keep exploring the Prairies though.

- Build my darkroom.
That did not get accomplished. The plan still sits in my head. But we are talking about moving in a few years time. It would be a waste of money to get completely set up and then have to take everything down again. Too bad though because I am really looking forward to printing my work in a wet darkroom again.

SO all in all a very successful year. But let's go over the photographs. Because that is why you are here.

Somewhere in February I found this tree close to home. It was days after a fresh snow fall and the air was still humid and full of fog. This photo has so much meaning to me personally.

This was photographed in Yellowstone in March when I met up with Chuck Kimmerle and Aleksandra Miesak. Yellowstone is a beautiful park (although we only saw the north part of it due to winter road closures)! Funny story though. We were driving back and I saw this tree on this hill from a long ways away. It was like my eyes were constantly scanning for things like this. Turned out... This little one was on a hill besides the Yellowstone National Park Training Center.

Yeah I know.

We went back to Belgium in May for the very first time in 5 years. Here are 2 photographs from the same day. One of the rare occasions where I was actually able to do some work (between drinking beers, meeting friends for beers and family duties). Priorities right?

During the summer I disappointed myself with storm chasing. Not only where the storms not really all that great, but photographing thunderstorms on film is ... let's say ... interesting. Nothing came out of that endeavor.

In September I made this simple photograph. Again, very close to home. I love simple scenes like this. This is what I thought was a fresh cut hayfield and I named it that way too. Now I think it's actually canola...

Another one from September. A month in which I started experimenting with long(er) exposures. Here is a 2.5h long exposure of the moon gliding across the sky over Ghost Lake Reservoir.


Here are 2 photographs from a weekend I spent in November alongside Paul Zizka at Abraham Lake. I was super super pleased that I came back with original photographs from this place. It was a very creative weekend. Probably the best photographs I made all year.

Riding on that high from November, I went to the Spray Lakes Reservoir for a sunrise shoot. It was again one of those mornings where everything fell in place. Very pleased about the results from that morning.

And finally, on my way back from that shoot, I saw these out of the corner of my eye. Definitely one of those gems I would have missed in the morning. I thought this would make a perfect Christmas card don't you agree?

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