For those of you that know me well, you know that photography has always held a special place in my heart of hobbies, right next to golf. In years and decades past, I would shoot upward of 20,000+ photos per year. This was especially true when the kids were young and I was rarely seen without my Canon gear wrapped around my neck including a motor-drive capable of taking 20 shots per second. The frames add up pretty quickly at that rate.
For me photography is one of the ways life is chronicled. Somewhat absurdly, I can view just about any picture I have ever taken and I am instantly transported back to the time and circumstances of the shot. Even more odd is an ability to discern between any picture I have taken versus a picture someone else may have taken of the same scene or subject. In a weird way that I can’t quite explain, it’s like an image of any picture I have ever taken is permanently stored somewhere in my memory bank.
In the past couple of years my array of DSLR equipment has taken a back seat to the images and videos I’ve captured on my iPhone. Purists will shun such a move, however the quality of camera in especially the latest iPhone 6s Plus meant I no longer needed my pro-equipment which I shed on Kijiji a few months ago to a young photographer just getting started. More to the point, I now savour the art that goes into composing fewer shots with more thought, versus after-the-fact picking one from among thousands I barely had time to notice between power-drive frames.
Earlier this week, and as I like to do when the new year draws closer, I reflected on the past year and did so by scanning through the mere 2,965 photos that made it as “keepers” in my 2015 library. It really is amazing to realize and relive all that we do in a year.
More than just cliché, I am not one to believe life is about reaching a destination, preferring instead to view it as a journey. Nevertheless, I set out with the objective of trying to pick my 2015 “moment-of-the-year” shot, and in doing so quickly came to realize this would be no easy feat. I nearly changed the objective to allowing myself to pick one moment per month which would have entailed 12 photos, but that soon gave way to 52 which in turn gave way to 365. Hence the philosophy I share with Dennis Colivas; Win The Day.
So, in forcing myself to choose a single moment-of-the-year-photo, I had to go with August 28, 2015, and the image I captured from a GoPro video of the hang-gliding adventure I’d long wanted to experience. It was like nothing I have ever felt before. Quite literally the way a hawk appears as it glides the skies for hours-and-hours without flapping its wings and riding warmer air updrafts. The unobstructed view, the complete sense of freedom, and the heart-pounding exhilarating thrill was even better than I expected. I was, pardon the pun, on Cloud 9 both during and after and I was so very happy Heather was there to see and witness it, even if clutched in her back pocket was the life insurance policy number
So here is to sharing that memory with you one last time and wishing each and every one of you a very happy and healthy 2016. May the task of picking next year’s moment-of-the-year photo prove to be even more difficult.