My Top 10 Shots of 2014

I love reading Top 10 lists. There’s something very satisfying about picking your X favorite number of items of a theme and putting them in order. I’ve always wanted to make my very own Top 10 list but never got around to doing it. But this year I’ve procrastinated enough. So without ado, here is my Top 10 favorite photos that I’ve shot in 2014.

10. View of Mt. Shirane in Gunma.
I went there in early spring and surprisingly there was still plenty of snow on the mountain which contrasted nicely with the greenery.

10

9. Hanazono Shrine Festival in Tokyo.
Blog post of this photo here. As I said in the original post, I really liked this shot as it is a rather unusual angle.

09

8. Floating paper lanterns during Asakusa Toro Nagashi in Tokyo.
Toro nagashi is a festival where participants release floating paper lanterns down a river with the belief that the lanterns will guide the souls of the departed back to the other world on the last day of the Bon Festival.

08

7. 29th Kanagawa Shimbun Fireworks Festival in Yokohama.
Blog post of this photo here. I would’ve liked this shot MUCH better if my office had a better vantage point.

07

6. Kagaruzaka Awa Odori dancer in Tokyo.
Blog post of this event here though I did not share this particular photo in the post. Most of the dancers would look away from my camera and avoid eye contact but this particular lady decided to flash me a beautiful smile instead… or maybe she saw someone she knew in the crowd. We will never know.

06

5. Ritual sumo tournament at Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine, Tokyo.
Salt throwing ceremony at the opening of an annual sumo tournament at Setagaya Hachimangu Shrine. Yes, sumo is closely associated with Shinto rituals and is held in conjunction with some shrine festivals.

05

4. View from Tokyo World Trade Center Observatory.
I love this photo for the brilliant fiery sky with some (maybe too much) clouds to provide extra “drama” to the scene. I was going for the “end of the world” feeling in this shot and I think it conveys the feeling well.

04

3. Fisherman at Lake Ashi, Hakone.
Blog post of this photo here.

03

2. Cherry blossoms in Yokohama.
There’s quite a lot of things I want to say about this particular shot (especially with regards to the issue of copyrights) but that’s another story for another day. For now, this is definitely one of my best for 2014.

02

1. Kintai Bridge in Iwakuni.
Blog post about this photo here.

01

I took what I considered to be my best shot of 2014 on 1 Jan 2014. And I think this kinda reflects what 2014 has been for me in a way. At times,  I felt really jaded with work and with life so I just spent my weekends escaping from reality playing video games or re-watching tv serials (which explains the lack of posts).

Don’t get me wrong, 2014 was a great year. I’ve learned a lot in my career. I’ve traveled to so many parts of Japan, granted not as much as I would’ve liked but I’m contented. I’ve taken some photos which I am honestly proud of.

So I end by saying thank you 2014. Thank you for being kind to me. And bring on 2015. May it be a better year for myself and for everyone else!

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21 thoughts on “My Top 10 Shots of 2014

    • Oh yes, that’s why I love the Awa Odori shot. Most people would shy or look away but she really surprised me when she looked straight at my camera and smiled. And you can “see” my surprise on the photo because it’s a tad off focus since I wasn’t fully prepared for the moment… which is a shame as I would’ve rated it higher if I managed to nail the focus. Anyway, thank you for your kind words 🙂

  1. Awesome work Vincent, and I confess to identifying with many of your sentiments too. I’ve wanted to do a similar ‘year-in-review’ type post for the last two years but never got around to it. With a bit of motivation, time and luck I might just try and do it. Your imagery has been inspirational and I wish you all the best in 2015.
    Festive cheer to you and your family. Heres to bigger and better things in the year ahead.

    • Thank you for your kind words! I would love to see a year end review post of your work. I haven’t been on the Internet for awhile so I haven’t seen your latest work but I do remember the beautiful photos you took of Bruges.

  2. My goodness! I spent 15 minutes gaping at your beautiful photos! 🙂

    It really is a best of list for the year, these are awesome shots indeed. I never did go for a “Top 10” or “Roundup” type post at the end of the year since I usually do it at my blog anniversary (which is in April and I’ve missed for 3 years running!). You’ve given me motivation to start doing it again next year. Haha.

    I really love your photos mate, it’s easily the best photo blog I follow – professional, quality work fit for a coffee table book!

    • I would say I’m more leaning towards the emotions and memories that each photo evokes for me on a personal level. If I had to break it down, it would be 75% emotional, 25% technical. For example, photo 8 is uninteresting from a composition point of view (I think), but the event was a deeply spiritual one.

      Which reminds me, I really ought to pen down my thoughts on some of these photos before they are forever lost due to my bad memory.

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