To kick off 2019 I thought it would be good to look back at my most “popular” photos of 2018. Including digital and film I took many more photos this year and invested more time in editing, posting and sharing them. After cleaning up my cleaning up my Flickr and Instagram portfolios, all the work paid off in higher levels of interest and feedback than I’ve ever received.
Since there’s no way I know to track Instagram views I limited this list to Flickr. I also stuck to checking out my “all time views” as a measure instead of Flickr’s “interestingness” which mixes views, favorites and other metrics. Simplest seemed best.
The twenty photos below are a mix of cameras and films, styles and subjects, color and monochrome. I’ve noted the cameras in the captions. Click the photos to see them full size on Flickr.
During my last visit to Las Vegas I took a long photo walk from my hotel on the strip to the Neon Museum. This shot across the street of a man waiting at a bus stop was one of the shots I took. This is the first of three photos from that trip that ended up in my “top 20”.
19. Lines Stretch On To The Horizon
Spending Thanksgiving in Walla Walla, WA at the Inn at Abeja, even just walking around the grounds treated us to some wonderful views of the winery and surrounding farmland. I took this shot with my Sony camera and converted it to black and white in Lightroom. This is the first of two shots from the Walla Walls trip that made my top 20.
Taken on my annual trip to Las Vegas I was able to visit the Neon Museum. The museum only allows one camera per person during normal visiting hours. At the time I was carrying my Fujifilm and Leica cameras and decided to leave the digital at the front desk and shoot the old signs using the 30 year old film camera. This was the first of two shots that made my top 20.
I would love to come back during one of their night photowalks and catch some of the old signs lit up, especially since you can apparently bring more than one camera and lens combination with you.
17. Men of Quality
A couple of photos from the January 2018 Seattle Women’s March were popular, but this is my favorite for the look of the boy and the message of the sign. It was amazing to be part of the community coming together to rally against the oppression and negativity of the Trump administration. I was honored to be able to capture some of that emotion in photos.
16. Look At Me
Not sure you can consider a photo taken on a ferry as a “street” photo but it on a recent trip to Bainbridge Island I walked along the passenger deck and tried to grab a few candid shots. I’m not sure if this gentleman realized I was taking his photo or was just looking at me. It seemed clear that his companion wanted to make sure she was paying attention to her and not distracted by anything else.
15. Flower Power
Second of the two popular photos from the 2018 Seattle Women’s March. The expression on this young marcher seemed to capture the optimism for the future in the face of the anger and frustration at the current situation.
On a trip to Boston early last summer I was able to take the ferry to Provincetown, MA. After walking around shooting some of the town I stumbled across a long stone breakwater. That would have been interesting enough but about halfway along the stone path was a derelict ship. I don’t think the ship had run aground there but it made for a great series of black and white photos.
13. To The Letter
Second photo from my trip to the Las Vegas Neon Museum to make it in my top 20.
12. Dry Flowers
Last summer I signed up for two classes at Photographic Center Northwest, one of which was a street photography class. Unfortunately due to my work schedule I had to drop out of the classes but not before doing a photowalk one evening at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
During this trip I shot using my manual focus Zeiss Loxia lenses on my Sony a7r camera. It was a great chance to practice my manual zone focusing instead of pointing and praying that the camera’s autofocus would get it right. This is one of two shots from that market visit that made the top 20.
When I bought my first Leica film camera this summer it came with a 60mm macro lens. Experimenting with that lens on some flowers at home gave me this black and white shot.
10. Standing Strong
I try to always have a camera with me and when I get a chance to walk around the neighborhood near our office. Right around the corner I stumbled onto this statue in a small park. With the office building in the background I thought this made a great composition.
9. Night Under the Bridge
I loved the colors made by the night lights in this street shot taken near Pioneer Square. I just happened to be walking home after an event with the X100s with me, and I was able to quickly capture the scene.
Today my “go to” street photography and travel camera is the Sony RX1Rm2. The awesome 35mm/f2 lens sticks out and makes it a sometimes hard to pack but the pictures it takes are wonderful. I struggle with getting accurate autofocus so I keep it mostly in manual focus mode, which is how I captured this woman walking across the street during the Christmas shopping rush.
7. Slipping Through The Cracks
Another shot taken with my favorite travel camera the Sony RX1Rm2. This one was taken at the Berlin Holocaust Memorial near the Brandenburg Gate. In retrospect I hope the image doesn’t disrespect the memorial.
6. Meet Us
Another image from a night walk in downtown Seattle during the busy shopping season. The young woman facing away as if she was waiting on someone caught my eye and my camera.
One of the great things you can do with the amazing Leica R-system lenses is attach them to modern digital cameras using adapters. You can see the results in this shot from a tree in my neighborhood.
4. Flying Into the Dawn
Only one smartphone picture made it to the Flickr top 20 and it was this dawn shot from a window seat at 35,000 feet taken on a Samsung S9. That phone had the best smartphone camera I’d seen until the release of the Google Pixel 3.
3. Take A Seat
Another photo from my Pike Place Market photowalk this summer using the Sony with Zeiss Loxia lens. I loved the expression on this man sitting in Victor Steinbruck Park watching the sunset. Converted to monochrome using Lightroom and Mastin Labs film simulation presets.
Another street photo taken with my Sony RX1R when walking downtown. So often the best shots for me seem to come not when I’m on a specific photo trip but just being ready and thinking visually to capture the moment as it happens. The colors of this image, from her red bag, bright blouse and the window display behind the woman on her phone highlight the vibrant life of Seattle’s downtown.
For much of my street photography I keep the camera shooting RAW but set for a black and white filter. That means the image on the viewfinder is rendered in black and white giving me some idea as I compose of what the final photo might look like. I love street photography in black and white but just couldn’t bring myself to throw away the color in this image.
So far this photo has been viewed over 6,000 times on Flickr.
This photo is by far the most popular image I’ve ever shared to Flickr. So far it’s been viewed over 9,000 times since it was posted just after Thanksgiving.
I took this just wandering around the Inn at Abeja. There was intermittent rain and the clouds were moving through the area. During a break in the weather when the sun came out I was able to take advantage of the light to take a few pictures of the winery and surrounding farmland.
This was just outside the gates looking down the road. I loved the straight road vanishing into the distance along with the crisscrossing shadows from the rows of vine supports. Back home I did a black and white conversion in Lightroom and added the photo to a few groups. After that the photo took on a life of its own as people shared and commented on it.
I’m not sure it’s the best photo I’ve ever taken or even my favorite. It’s just the most popular so far. If you want to see more photos like these I hope you’ll follow me on Flickr and look for my regular updates there.
Wow. That’s a trite word for all that I’m seeing here, Steve, but WOW. I never owned a camera before getting a little Pebble phone as part of a TMobile account, so I won’t be able to appreciate all the letters and numbers you provide for lenses/cameras; however, I do know a good shot when I see it. I know what evokes emotion and how I feel when I see beauty and humanity all over the world in places I’ve been. Please. Keep pursuing this amazing craft. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you have a blog whereby I can keep track of these adventures of yours!
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This is a really nice collection, Steve. I Hope you post more of this in the coming year!
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