2015 Favorites and Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle
“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”
Cheri has given us an interesting challenge to begin the new year. The Circle theme to me speaks to the circle of life, the turning of the calendar page and the opportunity to look back while moving forward. This is the time of year that we reflect on the year gone by, before embarking on the next step of life’s journey. The simple opening capture, one of our lovely lowcountry magnolia blossoms, reminds us to appreciate the small things in life, and to live in the present despite the ticking of the clock. It provides several circles within circles, much as life provides layers of depth and opportunity where what goes around does indeed come around.
Part of my year’s reflection also includes a review of 2015’s photographic moments. Although it feels a bit like choosing a favorite child 😩, for this week’s post I’ve selected some of my personal favorites. First up, during a visit to Arizona we found the dry, rocky landscapes (beyond the classic cacti at every turn) to have a beauty all their own.
“May the New Year bring you new strength, new hope, and new dreams.”
Lailah Gifty Akita
The year found me in a number of instructional presentations and shoots with some amazing professional photographers. Sessions with artists like Denise Ippolito, Arnie Zahn, Karen Vournakis, and Joyce Tennyson helped me to improve my skills and further define my artistic vision.
“New Year’s most glorious light is sweet hope!”
Mehmet Murat Ildan
I very much enjoyed a session with local professional Kate Silva on the use of textures. The two photographs below made use of this technique.
“There are greater things to be achieved in every new year.”
Michael Bassey Johnson
The first, of a Colorado aspen grove, was made during a joyful visit to attend a family wedding. It inspired one of my favorite bloggers, Andrew Seal of The Changing Palette, to create a number of beautiful paintings, one of which he sent to me as a thank you gift. It will definitely have a prominent place in our new home.
The second, below, is a texturized photo of two junks in Vietnam that was taken several years ago. It found new life when I added some aging textures – proof that you really CAN teach an old dog new tricks 😊.
“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.”
New techniques not-withstanding, pure compositions of nature’s best offerings resulted in some of my favorite images, such as the two captures below, both taken during our beautiful lowcountry spring.
“New Beginnings are in order, and you are bound to feel some level of excitement as new chances come your way.”
“There will be always something old in the New Year!”
Mehmet Murat Ildan
Many of 2015’s favorites resulted from my bird sanctuary visit during breeding season. I could get lost in the captures from that day, but will restrict my self to the three featured below 😊
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
“Hope – Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.”
I made the capture below in 2014, but in 2015 I was honored that it was chosen for a quarter-page, full-color feature in Charleston’s largest newspaper, the Post and Courier. It was published as an illustration of some of the beautiful areas surrounding our lovely city, with credit to yours-truly. Sadly, a recent article noted that erosion is threatening to destroy the other-worldly beach on which the photo was taken. I had no idea it was being published and learned about it from a friend who emailed me while my husband and I were vacationing in Scotland.
“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early!
Speaking of Scotland……their beautiful landscapes presented me with so many opportunities, I was like the proverbial kid in a candy store. My ever-patient husband chauffeured me up, down, around and through some of the most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever experienced. Unspoiled and hugely varied, it called to me at every turn. The three captures below are among my many favorites from the journey.
“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.”
Beyond the beauty of the scene, I made the capture above after making an eagle on a par 5 at Turnberry’s famous Ailsa Golf Course where the lighthouse is located. Good golf and gorgeous scenery – it doesn’t get much better than that!
“Each year’s regrets are envelopes in which messages of hope are found for the New Year.”
John R. Dallas Jr
My husband and I shared a very special week of the journey with our daughter-in-law’s family, several of whom are native to the country. To see a new part of the world through the ever-exuberant eyes of our granddaughter made the event that much more memorable.
“We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.”
Finally, I’d like to close with the photograph below, because it carries special meaning for me. It is a view from the porch of the home my husband and I sold earlier this year. It marks not only the end of 2015, but also the end of a wonderful 15 years, along with the beginning of a new adventure. I’m happy to report that we have found a new, smaller home on our beloved Kiawah Island, into which we will move at the end of March.
“It is easier for the year to change than to change ourselves.”
R. Joseph Hoffman
My sincere thanks to all of my followers, especially those who take the time to comment on my efforts. Special thanks to Randall Collis of China Sojourns Photography (another of my very favorite blogs) for earning the top spot in 2015’s list of frequent commenters. His most recent post on slowing the passage of time is an absolute must-read.
I look forward to sharing the New Year with all of you, and wish each of you an abundance of peace, kindness, friendship and love in 2016 and beyond.