Monday, December 31, 2012

My Top 9 Instagrams of 2012

After much blood, sweat, tears and artistic obsession, I am officially declaring these to be my Top 9 Instagrams of 2012.

Let's be honest. I posted over 900 photos to Instagram this year, and I could claim about half of them as my favorites. This was a very difficult and highly subjective selection process.

But in the end, I can readily say that these photos are not only aesthetically pleasing to me but also represent some of my best memories of the past year.

From left to right and top to bottom:

1. A summer dinner of shortcake, whipped cream and fresh fruit is a longstanding family tradition around here. I love the primary colors and strong geometry of the shot, set off by the warm wood of my patio table. This is a bowl full of summer and it takes me right back to those sunny, fruit-filled days  that I love so much.

2. On the way to a Seattle Mariners baseball game, I captured the lovely architecture of the alley side of these buildings. I love the similar-but-different brown tones and rectangular lines of these back-to-back-to-back structures, and I smile to remember that just beyond the bottom border of this serene composition was a swarming sea of baseball fans, vendors and food stands.

3. These are the maple trees that border the playground at my old elementary school. I haven't visited my former stomping grounds in decades, but the minute I stepped behind the building, the memories of my childhood swept through my senses like a tsunami. It was an overpoweringly nostalgic experience, and this photo captures that intensity through the bold complementary colors.

4. This tiny paper crane was folded from an old map by my youngest, and photographed as we were moving her into her new dorm room, 1500 miles from home. This precious creation is not only a marvel of beauty and a perfect icon of my daughter's personality, but photographed in my open hand, it also symbolizes the act of allowing my baby bird to fly away from me.

5. In a mass of fields overflowing with fresh, bright, sturdy, growing tulips, I found a small wooden wagon heaped with several armloads of cut, spent, wilted blooms. And these flowers gave me my most satisfying shots of the day. If I had to choose, this would be my favorite Instagram of the whole year.

6. One of my biggest surprises in 2012 was that I learned to love the desert. I never fancied the brown, dry, empty spaces of the southwest United States in the past, but since visiting there three times this year, I've come to appreciate that special brand of beauty. Plus, saguaro cacti might be about the cutest plants ever.

7. After my darling little students finished a watercolor project one day, I glanced down and saw this little vignette of scattered supplies and messy splatters. Somehow, it captured the innocence and gentle beauty of their work, and I love the simple shapes and colors.

8. Once again this summer, Ranger accompanied us to Kalaloch, Washington for our annual camping trip. Isn't he just the picture of calm watchfulness? I love the contrast of the wild forest in the background against the tiny bit of domesticity and civilization that we have temporarily established in the foreground. To me, this photo sums up both the challenge and rewards of camping.

9. Without a doubt, I love the geometric lines, circles and rectangles of this wall of LEGOs. I'm a sucker for the blast of bold colors, and I smile to see my daughter's complete focus and concentration on picking the best bricks. But this photo also symbolizes to me my growing experimentation with editing my photos. I've learned a lot this past year about how to achieve the subtle effects that I admire most in others' edits, and it's fun to look back at my first Instagrams and see how much my work has changed over the months.

So cheers to 2012 and thanks to Instagram for helping me beautifully capture all these good times!

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