Share Your Favorite Photo of 2019

Share Your Favorite Photo of 2019

A new decade is only days away, so it's time to celebrate the creativity of the past and get ready for the future by sharing your favorite photo of 2019. 

2020 always seemed like a date from science fiction novels to me, and here we are about to be living in it. No flying cars, unfortunately, but we have had advances in image making and editing that have made the photographic arts more accessible and varied than ever before. As a result, the definition of what makes a photograph, or a photographer, has become increasingly blurry around the edges. Personally, I'm a big fan of the changes, because it's opened up worlds of creativity. What I have to ask myself now is: What will the next ten years look like? What changes can we expect to see, what new obstacles will we have to navigate, what opportunities will arise for us to take advantage of? As we get ready to head into this new decade, this is a great time to look back and the awesome stuff we've created and consider what the next ten years might hold for photography.

To that end, I put out the word on Facebook and asked Fstoppers community members to show me their favorite photograph of 2019, and I want you to do the same. It doesn't have to be your best technical image, or your highest paid image, though it's certainly fine if that's the case! Sometimes it's a favorite because it captured a special moment, or the instant you learned something that will forever change how you work, or the shot you've been trying to pull off for months.

This is a personal favorite of mine from 2019. I love the image itself, but it's also my favorite for another reason. In a way, it's a symbol of where my photography is headed now that I have a dedicated space to work in. It's also the culmination of finally having the time and the focus to get creative after having kiddos in the house for 16 years. I know more about who I am and what I want as an artist, and I've finally arrived at a time when I have both the skill, the equipment, and the time to create it. For me, 2020 will be the start of a new era in my personal work, and I'm incredibly excited to see what it brings.

Model Jason Klein with props by Gryndel Ghoulderson

What about you? What was your favorite creation of 2019, and does the new decade represent a change in direction for you, or maybe just the hope of new beginnings and bigger and better things to come? Share your photo in the comments and let the community, and the world, know what you've got in store for us in the new decade! Let's end 2019 with a photographic bang and inspire one another to new heights for the new year. 

To motivate you, I asked Fstoppers community members to share some of their favorite photos of 2019. Join the fun!

Lead image shared with permission of Kate Woodman

Nicole York's picture

Nicole York is a professional photographer and educator based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. When she's not shooting extraordinary people or mentoring growing photographers, she's out climbing in the New Mexico back country or writing and reading novels.

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I was chasing this shot for about a year. Finally the weather and life cooperated for me to get it.

That has to be satisfying; waiting for the opportunity to take a shot you envisioned and finally getting it.

It was. I had been shooting this location for a long time but it never lined up with the barn when I was out there. I managed to grab this between sunset and moonrise. Timing worked perfectly.

Greg, do you know about the Photopills app? (I'm not a paid advertiser) The app has upped my confidence for MW shots. There's even an augmented reality feature that let's you stand in front of the chosen foreground location... and see what the position of the MW will look like.

Here's one from a scouting trip in PA. Sorry about the sideways load. Screenshot from my cell phone. You can set the date and time to any date in future or past.

I have use that a couple times. I use stellarium more. My biggest problem with getting the night shots I want is the weather in Upstate NY doesn't like to cooperate with my personal availability.

Amen to the weather. I've been a NY resident for 3 ys now. I miss the SE Oregon clear, daarrrkkk skies enormously. So I've tried to embrace all the other neat aspects of Upstate. Frozen waterfalls... mind boggling. :)

Do you know about Astrospheric. I think it was a free app that I got from the Google Play Store. I've had great experience with the precision of weather forecasting down to the hour... as well as detailed air density readings. You can save a multitude of locations and check on conditions within... about a 48 hr period.

Of course, yup... then there's getting the "kitchen pass" to go out and play. 🌌

And... agree. Stellarium's a fine educational tool for my understanding of stellar bodies, too.

I have been lucky to have a few darker sky areas around me. But the weather is tough. With the change of seasons I have ventured back out to the waterfalls. I once heard a quote that is very fitting for NY " If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow" Upstate NY has lots of great things, weather is not one of them.

I admire the quote... and guffaw at your last line. I lived on the Oregon Coast for 13 yrs... weather, weather everywhere.

I found my way to Brown Tract Pond, north of Old Forge my first yr here. But so did a bunch of rude 20-somethings, and one insufferable woman nearer my 50ishness who (I really tried to be kind) marched up to me as I was mounting camera to tripod and said, "I've never done this before. Teach me!" Yikes. Finally had to insist she walk away from me (followed me to each place I moved along the beach)... and pray she wasn't violently unstable.

Since then... I've found a couple awesome locations to solo out on the Moose River Plain... happy to share, in PM. :)

Snow. I own the adult version snow blower... might two stage system, hand warmer handles, and a headlight. Now, damnit... more snow. LOL. The foot from last week melted.

I have had good luck out shooting locations here. I purposely find the most out of the way state lands and other such places to avoid the people. Speaking of snow I have 4x4 truck so it make snow that much more fun.

Hussah! Must have a 4×4 truck. I love my trusty 2014 Tacoma.

I tried out a photo buddy a yr ago. He insisted on driving us out to the location I'd told him about... wouldn't let the little lady use her truck.

What did he drive, you ask? A low slung mommy sedan, Nissan (I think)... sure it had all wheel drive, but about the time we got to the snow berm at the end of the plowed section of the road... I was reeaaalllyyy glad I'd had some fun popping back and forth over that berm the day before in the daylight. Never went out to shoot with that dude again.

I was naive to give up my ten-ply tires for a smoother ride once we got here. Sigh! Storage space choices... but still... maannnn!

One more... I'm really impressed with state land availability out here. Oregon has something like 70% public lands between BLM, and Forest Service. I cringe at the people who bitch about federal overlords.

Harney County was 10,000 sq. miles with a tax base of 7,000 humans. No way our county could afford to administer all the land in question.

Enter the Bundy boys and their treasonous take over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. A debacle of injustices, worst of which was Native American burial ground desecration... the people of our county suffered, and still do, four yrs later. It was an old fashioned 19th C. land grab... with modern assault rifles.

We moved after the wife became upset about all the death threats I'd collected. Former soldier here...if I'm not getting death threats, I'm not doing my job right. (I mostly jest).

When things come together like that, it's the best thing ever! Glad you finally got your shot!

It really is. I find its great to set a goal for a shot and then go out and execute it.I didn't do that for a long time but once life started getting busier my time to shoot became more precious and I wanted to use it more effectively.

To echo what was already said, it has to be very satisfying.

You must be a blast at parties.

Check out this guy's other comments under his Fstoppers profile. Party pooper is clearly his thing. It's quite sad, really.

And you, sir, are the prime example of narcissism. We are all here to share, learn and encourage ourselves, and whilst I find your photography of excellent work, please understand that vanity and leadership are not quite the same.

You accuse me of having "narcissism" because I am not here to "encourage" myself.

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

Also, my work is nothing special.

I expected to go to your profile and see images that would blow the ones the op shared away... boy, was I disappointed. (Feel free to reply back with how bad my images are. I’m not claiming to be the “amazing artist” you’re claiming to be.) you really should loosen up a bit. Photography is supposed to be fun. People like you ruin it for everyone. I think the op did a great job picking out photos to showcase in the article. Even if she didn’t, no need for the attack.

1) I guess you either didn't read my comment in full, or you are too obtuse to comprehend what I said about subjective perception.

2) I have NEVER claimed my own images are in anyway more than ordinary..

3) I don't care about your work.

1) It’s obvious your means of satisfaction are fulfilled by belittling people.

2) I’m fully competent enough to read through your meaningless rant

3) happy holidays 😉

What remains obvious is that you are still incapable of reading or understanding; had you done so you would have read " comment isn't negative, it's a reflection upon subjective perception...".

Apparently this stuff is complex.

Not complex at all. simply stating “my comment isn’t negative“ doesn’t negate a negative comment. That’s like starting an offensive comment with saying “no offense, but...”. You knew it was negative, hence the addition. Maybe you just need to learn how to socialize better.

The fact you people take it as offensive does not make it offensive. A big part of the problem is that stupid people are incapable of thinking.

And no, go back to my OP and you will observe it is marked "Edit" because I had already been attacked twice. However, my OP was elliptical, and could therefore be misconstrued, and hence the edit/clarification. Again, I can only reflect upon the fact you ignored the phrase "subjective perception" (it's difficult , I know).

Thank you for confirming your poor comprehension skills.

How about you stop trying to infer my unstated intention when you cannot even grasp my explicitly stated intention.

Hell of a circle you're running here. Criticize the photos as being mediocre, while demonstration in your own photos that mediocrity is all you're capable of, and claim to be. Curious, if you aren't able to produce anything more than ordinary, what qualifies you to regard someone's work as the same? Since you have said your work is nothing more than ordinary, then isn't it reasonable to say that you can't perceive the things that takes work from ordinary to well done, or even excellent?

If, based on your own work, you don't know how to take exceptional photos then it's reasonable that you also don't know what to look for when critiquing others work.

You people really are just this stupid.

Go back and read my comment and responses until you understand.

As perfect a response as I expected. It's everyone else, no one understands, I'm smarter than all of you. I'll leave you and your disorders alone now.

Yeah, that's the way, i suppose the phrase "subjective perception" is just too difficult.

Wow. you sure put the crotch in crotchety

You can do better.

Apparently responding to the personal attacks of people who are too lazy or too stupid to comprehend is also unacceptable.

Before you made your original comment, you might have asked yourself "is this really worth posting?" It offered nothing of real value, just you stating that you don't like something. Who cares? How does that contribute. I stand by my crotchety statement.

You mean as opposed to the photo you posted below. Or for that matter the posts where you are determined to provoke an argument with me.

If are going to hold a value standard/requirement then you are going to have a bad day.

Actually man, these photos are the favorites of the individual photographers who presented them, for a variety of their own reasons. They aren't MY personal favorites. I think you misunderstood the purpose of the article...

Indeed I did; however, my observation re subjective perception holds.

I think my favourite so far is the guy who says I'm a narcissist because I'm not posting to "encourage" myself.

Soft skills.

People skills.

Just something to think about.

You mean I am required to respond nicely to people who are incapable of understanding what I intend (even after explicit clarification)? If people want to attack me, then cool, I'll play.

That aside, I do not sell my work, and if I did, other photographers would not be my target market.

If that's what you got out of it, then there's really not much more to say.

Sure, taste is subjective. That's true. But one has to wonder the utility of stating the obvious. I would imagine that's why you got those responses.

Apparently it's not "obvious".

But then, one could equally say one has to wonder the point of the expected circle jerk.

Society went and became uselessly soft and sensitive somewhere.

All studio shots of people. Kinda odd to me. Thoughts anyone?

I noticed this as well. This kind of thing is really subjective. Perhaps the author enjoys portraiture above all other forms of photography. That's fine. I like good studio work, but it's very controlled, so getting that 'perfect shot' isn't nearly as difficult as, say, getting a snowy owl diving on a vole hiding in a foot of snow. That's the sort of shot that makes me smile.

I also like when someone waits for that perfect moment while taking a landscape shot like the one above, the night shot. That requires huge amounts of patience. Like that shot, going back to a specific spot time after time and not getting the desired results can be frustrating. But at some point, it happens.

This isn't my favorite of this year, but it's one of those shots that I anticipated would eventually happen. We have a friend that has a condo here in Winnipeg that faces west, so whenever we visit, I always take my camera hoping for a Sunset. This evening, it happened.

Just to make it clear: the photos I shared were the ones shared with me by other folks in the community. I didn't go looking for my personal favorites of other people's work.

Second: yes, the studio is a much more controlled setting, I will give you that, but at the same time EVERYTHING that happens in the studio has to come from the photographer's mind. We aren't working with what nature has presented to us, we are creating an entire scenario. I shoot both in and out of studio, so I don't have a preference, but I think both methods have their difficulties and strengths.

It's all subjective and according to one's personal aesthetic. For example, there is rarely a landscape or still life that makes me take notice. To me, they are just boring. Whereas photos of people, even in a studio setting, have the potential to be of much more interest to me.

But again, it all comes down to personal aesthetic.

I tend to disagree with the statement, "... so getting that 'perfect shot' isn't nearly as difficult as, say, getting a snowy owl diving on a vole hiding in a foot of snow."

I do appreciate the difficulties of getting that shot of the snowy owl, but it's a different thing and no more difficult than capturing the right moment in a studio portrait. Sure, from a technical standpoint, controlling the lighting and having the ability to have do-overs, as it were, is going to be easier in a studio, but working with a model--either experienced or inexperienced--can be extremely challenging to produce what I feel is a meaningful emotion that I want to capture.

It's not unheard of to spend several hours and take a few hundred shots in a studio and only walk away with 4 or 5 photos that really have impact and give me a wow moment (according to my personal aesthetic).

Thanks for the replies everyone! Very good points all around. Superb sunset David!
Here's what I think is my best for 2019.

This is my favorite image that I took in 2019

It probably has a lot to do with the memory of being at Big Bend that morning and seeing the scene and enjoying the layers of hills and mountains in the distant haze.

Love seeing those hills fade into the distance! I bet it was incredible standing there to witness.

This is my favorite of 2019. I told my wife the first time I saw this church that I would go back to get a winter shot. Took this last February.

Very cool!

Thanks for the kind words!

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