My Alternative #2016bestnine

Every year, there is something of an Instagram tradition to create a post that is about your 'best' 9 images of the year. It's easily done by simply going to a website that searches your feed, and returns the 9 images that had the most likes.

My #bestnineof2016 based on Instagram 'likes'

My #bestnineof2016 based on Instagram 'likes'

Not long after people had started sharing their #bestnineof2016, did we start to discuss the notion of what is 'best'? In this case, it was simply number of likes. However, I think most of us agreed that they weren't what we considered to be our best images.

Social Media has many advantages, and has been instrumental in the development of my photography through meeting fellow photographers and being able to share my work far easier than it would have been 10 years ago. However, it also has many pitfalls. It's very distracting, and for someone easily distracted like myself, it takes some discipline to simply not look at FB, Twitter, Instagram etc.. way more than I should.

However, a bigger issue is that in Social Media, where getting 'likes' is seen as a measure of success, you can get sucked into thinking that the number of likes dictates whether a picture is 'good' or not. I will admit that I have been disheartened when I post a picture that strikes a chord with me, is not an instant success. Does that mean the picture wasn't as good as the oneposted last week? Of course not, but these thoughts can creep in and it's important to be aware of them and keep them at bay. The same applies to the twitter 'weeklies'. Whilst some people flourish under the spotlight of competition, others find it suffocating, and influencing how and what they shoot. That can't be healthy for personal growth.

So, where am I going with this rambling post anyway? Well, I thought I'd share an alternative #2016bestnine, but I found it very hard to do! Ansel Adams said something about if you finish a year with 12 shots you're happy with then, you've had a good year! When scrolling through lightroom for my favourite 9, I really struggled, and not because I had too many.... I ended up with quite an eclectic mix of shots that all resonate with me on a personal level. Some have done well on SM, and others haven't, but that's not the point.

Although this shot sticks out like a sore thumb amongst my other work, I can't help but have a soft spot for it :)

Three Men on a Bench