Last year I came across Jim Goldstein's Best Photos of the Year Project and thought it would be fun to participate. Narrowing down what I deem as my best images is a good exercise, but I really enjoy reflecting on the year that was. So before flipping the calendar to 2018, here's my best from 2017 (and if you need a calendar to flip, check out my 2018 Calendar):
2017 really had it's up and downs for me regarding my photography. It started with a 5 week trip to Malaysia - a relaxing escape from the Canadian winter. My main focus wasn't actually taking photos, but to complete online courses and really focus on refining my technical knowledge. I still got out to shoot a bunch of images, but mostly it was self teaching and preparation for my next adventure which was right around the corner.
After taking two weeks back home in Calgary to reset and prep, we took off to Johannesburg for almost two months in southern Africa. It was an incredible trip, starting off with trekking through the Drakensberg - surprisingly one of the highlights of the entire trip. We visited numerous wildlife reserves on our way to Cape Town, where we swapped out our sedan for a 4x4 SUV for the Namibian roads (or lack thereof).
Namibia is the best. My favourite country I've visited and I can't wait to go back. The landscapes are surreal, the wildlife reserves impressive and the people incredible.
We then moved our way into Botswana, a country with some of the best natural attractions in the world. However, we found Botswana frustratingly difficult to find accurate local information and navigate access and reservations. After two nights camping in the Okavango Delta, I momentarily let my guard down and my camera was stolen from our vehicle outside a grocery store. Inside it was the memory card with all my Namibia images. Luckily my memory card I used in South Africa was safe in my pocket, so I didn't come home completely empty handed. The rest of the trip was an internal battle of trying to enjoy the experience but feeling emptiness thinking of all the lost images and having no way of creating new ones.
Returning home, I lost all desire and motivation to continue my photography. A ton of effort went into developing myself as a photographer and creating images that will unfortunately only remain in my memory. Eventually I decided on a camera replacement - the Canon 6D Mark II to be released at the end of the summer. As details emerged about the camera, it lacked many qualities that are most important to me. After a couple months of without a camera in hand, I decided to switch to Nikon and purchase the D750.
After purchasing the camera, my desire to create images quickly came back. I've tried to concentrate on enjoying the experience of taking photos as much as the photos themselves.
The business side of Dean Foster Photography also took some big steps in 2017. I've launched my online store and had some real success at local art shows. Some of my images are even on display at Art-Box in West Springs, Calgary.
I'm excited for 2018. Once again I'll begin the year by focusing on furthering my technical knowledge - I've been procrastinating learning Photoshop for awhile. Tentatively, I'm planning a trip to New Zealand in March which I'm already looking forward to.
I don't have a big following, but I'm constantly blown away by the support I receive. I would like to thank everyone of you for each like on Facebook, favourite on Instagram, or for reading this rambling self-reflection to the end. All the best in 2018!