Top 10 Photos from 2015 - Andrea Kuipers

Top 10 Photos from 2015

December 22, 2015

Amid all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I've taken some time to review the photos I took over the year. There are two reasons for this - first, I am always looking at how I can better my photography so I like to look back and see which areas have improved and which still need work. Second, there is also an element of nostalgia - it's fun to look back on photos from the year while relaxing near the Christmas tree. So, grab a glass of eggnog and enjoy a few of my favourites from 2015!

10. While exploring Saltspring Island this spring, I inevitably made my way to Ganges Harbour and enjoyed watching the boats, seaplanes, and birds. At one end, down on the dinghy dock, this heron was hanging out and looking nonchalant. I had the impression that he was waiting for me to leave so that he could jump inside one of the dinghies without getting caught. If he did, I'm not sure, but it makes me laugh to think of it.

09. In June, Nathanael and I went to Berlin and met up with our dear friends Lars and Sigrid. Sigrid had some time off and guided us through East Berlin and West Berlin - I am sure we saw more with her than we would have with any city tour! Of course the River Spree runs through the city and she recommended we take one of the ship tours as well, which we did later in the week. Here we see two of the many tour vessels passing the Bodes Museum on Museum Island. Although we didn't make it to the Bodes Museum on this trip, we did see several others of which my favourite was definitely the Pergamon Museum!

08. We had our fair share of summer storms on the west coast, and the morning I shot this was no exception. In fact, I hadn't been planning on photography that morning - I was running errands near a beach and spontaneously decided to take a walk down there - so ended up photographing with my phone. I was lucky with the timing because the clouds were just clearing creating fantastic light, the birds were just returning to the shore, and the Olympic Mountains in the distance were as clear as I've ever seen them.

After the Storm

07. While visiting our lovely friends Rita and Bernhard in Bavaria, the four of us decided to take a short road trip together. We considered a few different places, and eventually agreed on Innsbruck. We traveled along the scenic route (really!) instead of the autobahn, through the mountains and stopping at small towns and lakes to admire the views. Our friends told us about the places we visited and again, I'm sure we saw more with them than we would have with a regular tour. When we reached Innsbruck, the city was already bathed in beautiful golden hour light. We meandered through the Tiergarten, explored the Old Town, and stopped for wursts and gelato. And just as we were heading out of the city, Bernhard pulled the car over and took us to a small bridge where we had one last great view and photo-opportunity of the city before heading back through the mountains.

06. Again, a spur of the moment photography decision. On waking to a thick fog on October morning, I knew I needed to get out and capture it. Of course, there is always the risk that the fog will burn off quickly, but fortunately it hung around for several hours so I had time to get to Oak Bay Marina and photograph at my leisure. For the most part, it was just me and the birds. Between the stillness, weather, and a lone paddler leaving in a dinghy, I felt as though I'd wandered into a Scooby Doo cartoon!

Oak Bay Marina in Fog

05. I thought that any of my favourite photos from Prague would be of the main sites: a profile of Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, or morning on the Charles Bridge. But looking back, this one was actually one of the winners. Technically, I like the composition with the leading lines taking the viewer down the clean cobblestoned streets to explore the city. During most of the day, this street was very crowded making photography much more difficult so it's also a reminder of how making a little extra effort (wake up and get out early) can go a long way to getting photos you're happy with.

04. Alright, I do have one favourite photo from Prague Castle, but it's not the profile, nor is it the view over the city's red rooftops. On an early morning in one of the three courtyards at the castle, I spotted this lady resting on a bench and reading. I like how this image shows a quiet moment in a usually very busy space, but I also like the contrast in scale. Both the woman and bench look small compared to the tower behind them which seems appropriate for a castle! After all, shouldn't a castle both intimidate and impress with its size and design?

03. This was a real west coast day - it was pouring rain and yet the parking lot was filled with cars. People of all ages in rain jackets of all colours lined the banks at Goldstream Provincial Park to witness this annual natural phenomenon. Seagulls bobbed along in the water while the salmon swam, spawned, and died in the riverbed. Occasionally a fish would jump catching the attention of both human and seagull spectators alike. Did we get soaked? Yes. Did I get some decent photos of the day? Yes. Did my camera survive the rain? Yes. All in all, a good day.

02. There were only a handful of other people out on the beach this January morning, and most of them were there to walk their dogs. This was my first dedicated shoot as a full-time freelance photographer and I was thrilled to bring back a couple of decent images from this beautiful morning by the sea.

01. This photo almost didn't happen. I took this during the BC Day Instameet hosted by Tourism Victoria and Destination BC, but I nearly didn't attend the event! The day before, Nathanael and I had to put down our dear cat The Cheat after several weeks of illness, so of course I was still very sad the next day. However, I thought that a distraction for a couple of hours would be helpful, and it was. I wasn't the most cheerful person out there that day, but I did enjoy meeting some new people and discovering a few facts about the city that, despite living here over a decade, I didn't know! I think bricks and bicycles are two of the most photogenic objects so the combination made for a picturesque detail shot, and as you know, I am a fan of photographing details to round out an image collection. So although this image is bittersweet, it comes in first for me this year.

LG-H812

Thank you everyone for joining in my explorations this year. I wish you all the best for the new year, and look forward to sharing more photos and adventures with you in 2016!

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