2016 has been one of the most amazing, dazzling and adventurous years for me personally ever in terms of photography. Before finishing my master’s thesis, I got to visit a few European yountries and after handing in the masterpiece (see what I did there?) I got the chance to visit four continents in a row. Naturally, finding only 10 favourite photos from the past 365 years is quite a challenge and I have to admit, many did not make it into this list that would have deserved it. But I thought that publishing my 683 favourite photos of the year would make this post a little too long. These photos are not necessarily the best from an aesthetic point of view (though I naturally prefer the better results over the blurry ones). A few have an additional value simply because they didn’t work out as planned…
This shot was taken during sunset. Amazingly, though the whole thing is a long-exposure shot and it was definitely not that dark yet, the shadows in this image are way more dominant than expected. In the foreground was a homeless woman sitting, who very magestically overlooked the whole scenery. Though this photo did not turn out as expected, it is one of my most favourite memories of this weekend trip to London.
Fun fact: I’ve always wanted to climb a tea mountain. Not since I was a small child, but since I was old enough to appreciate the natural beauty of mountains and green leaves. Visiting Taipei as my first world trip stop, I could not resist the urge to visit Maokong, where some of the countries finest green tea is harvested. Plus, I even got the chance to watch some of the women harvest the leaves. Before holding the developed pictures in my hands, I knew these would be some of my favourite shots ever.
I’d been to China before, but as the country is so incredibly huge, I’d never presume I really know what’s going on there. Visiting Hongkong as a short stop in my way to Singapore (which turned out to become a longer stop in the end) was a great idea: Hongkong is so colourful and lively that it’s a dream come true for any street photographer. Though the city itself was not that appealing to me in the end, I still treasure all the colourful shots I got to take there.
After spending nearly a whole month in East Asia, I was actually looking forward to seeing something new. Arriving in Singapore, I was blown away by how different everything looked – the cultural mixtures surrounding me, hot temperatures, delicacies. Singapore turned out to be one of the most colourful countries I’ve ever seen so far. Fortunately, I also have a friend in Singapore, who introduced me to a few places and things I would not have done or seen without her. This photo was taken during my very first day in Singapore. 39°C, sweating as hell, I could not stop walking around but had the urge to explore every single corner of my surroundings.
Saying that we’ve been to Australia always feels like an exaggeration. We did spend a little more than a week in Sydney. We also took a daytrip into the Blue Mountains (which was a.ma.zing!) but I’d never claim to have really seen anything of Australia. However, Sydney we got to know quite well during this particular week. One afternoon, we took a stroll around the Campus district and ended up in this one street where there were loads of bars, pubs, restaurants and a funny little flea market with street musicians. This day and the experiences we made there were so lively and lovely that I’ll always chose this photo to remember the district we stumbled into.
New Zealand, May
Traveling through New Zealand has not just been a lifechanging experience because it was a dream come true, but also because it has changed my perception of life, landscape beauty and natural peace in the long run. The photos we were able to take in NZ are among the very best I was even given the possibility to take – not because my film, camera and skills were the best but because the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. This photo was one of the very first I took outside of Christchurch. To me, it represents the beginning of a journey, more beautiful memories to come and a trip with my sister that I will never forget and always cherish.
Fiji, May & June
Truth be told, I did not enjoy my stay on Fiji at all. I don’t enjoy lazy beach holidays and while I’d expected to be able to walk around and explore some of the islands ony foot, I found it impossible to walk through the jungles surrounding the resorts. Thus my mobility was limited to a few 100m to the left and right hand of the resorts. Fiji itself is just marvellous and was home to some of the friendliest and most open-hearted people I’ve ever met. Next time, I’ll get special jungle gear to walk around with…
United States of America, June
Again, the United States are way too huge to choose just one photo. Especially since I got the chance to visit friends at the East Coast, in the Middle and at the West Coast, choosing one photo feels almost impossible. But my friend and I got to take some photos in Yosemite National Park which will always hold a special place in my heart. Climbing along a hilltop, we found this scenery and were overwhelmed with the beauty of the moment. I wish I could paint, I’d have grabbed my best brushes and pigments right away. In fact, after seeing this and realizing we were unable to climb further, we were not sorry to turn around and climb back to where we came from, knowing it couldn’t get more beautful than this.
Visiting Toronto was a lucky accident: my plane from NYC to Glasgow with a transfer in Toronto was so delayed that I had to wait 20h for the next flight going to Europe. That said, I took the chance to explore some of the city’s highlights on food. The temperature ws perfect, people very friendly and the city itself absolutely walkable. What I liked most about Toronto was the funny mixture of colourful, cozy and sometimes shabby small historic buildings right in front of glass- and concrete-skyscrapers (or mini-skyscrapers. They didn’t really touch the skies, but were too big to be called normal office buildings). It took me a while to see that I’d actually taken a snap of a condom shop but decided to keep the image as it nicely sums up the colourful mixture of haute couture, street art and everyday necessities you can find in Toronto.
Again, claiming to have really seen Scotland would have been too much. I’ve seen a bit of Glasgow (though Mr Jetlag stopped me from really experiencing it ) and Edinburgh. This image however is a nice representation of what I love most about film photograhy: The power of coincidence. When rolling from one photo to the next, I did not carry the image far enough, thus the camera added another photo on top of the one on the left. Both photos were taken in Edinburgh and though they are too dark for my taste, I treasure them (or it) because of their fortuity.
What are your 2016 favourites?
Share with me here on my blog, one Facebook or Instagram and spread the travel love. That said, I wish you all a wonderful, happy and healthy 2017! May the joys of human kindness and delicious food be always on your path. There, I had to end this on a culinary note…