2009 was a pretty great year (well for me personally. For the world and the economy, err, not so much) and it was hard to choose just a few pictures as my “favourites” from the thousands that I snapped over the past 12 months. On top of that, there’s the question of how to sort them? While all the pictures could be classified dozens of different ways, in the end I decided to go with the four basic themes below. (if you need more granularity than that, head over to the photos section of the site and play around with the search options!)
So, without further ado, let’s start off with the first theme:
It should come as no surprise that one of the major themes for 2009 was blue, blue skies. If you’ve been reading the panda blog for any amount of time, you know that there are few things I love as much as sky worship. 2009 had some great skies too – especially in the summer, which marks the first time in memory that I can recall actually enjoying the blazing heat!
More pictures in the full entry below…
Black & White
2009 also marked the first time I experimented with taking black and white photographs – a complete 180 from the deep blues and azure skies above. Shooting monochromatically requires a shift in one’s photographic approach and in the absence of colour information, I found myself concentrating on things I had previously overlooked – textures, shapes, zones of brightness, and all the other wonderful things that make a “scene.”
While my camera spent much of 2009 firmly glued to the sky and beautiful urbanity of Tokyo, every once in a while I managed to work in some shots of people as well. It’s hard to shoot people – unlike landscapes, they don’t stand still, and they’re quite vocal with their opinions as well! (put up a bad picture of a cloud and it’s no big deal. Put up a bad picture of your friend, and well… you might find yourself minus one friend ) I didn’t take too many pictures of people in 2009, but here are a few of my favourites:
Sunrises & Sunsets
A lot of the pictures posted in 2009 were from my 2008 Cross Japan Autumn road trip. Two weeks spent on the road meant a lot of sunrises and sunsets witnessed from the backseat of a car. I gained a new appreciation for the beauty of the sun at its extremes – a natural phenomenon that usually goes overlooked during the daily grind of life in the urban megalopolis that is Tokyo – when I’m more concerned with trying to get crushed by the seething masses of humanity piling into my morning train than I am with the delicate first rays of the sun summiting distant mountains. But starting in 2010, I’m going to try my best to slow down and notice the simpler beautiful pleasures in life, no matter how busy I am – starting with the daily sunrises and sunsets. Here then, are some of my favourites from 2009.
Okay, so that’s it for now. One of my resolutions for 2010 is to try and take more pictures and update the blog more often (ideally at least once a week). So hopefully the picture roundup for 2010 will have a lot more material to choose from. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Now listening to: Beirut – My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille