Hurdles are often used as metaphors for the obstacles life throws in our path. Few managed them as gracefully and ferociously as Aries Merritt, seen here on his way to the world indoor 60m hurdles title last March. He would later strike Olympic gold before ending his season by smashing the world record in the 110m hurdles.
This was taken from my press seat at those championships, where I managed to get the entire field in the frame while panning. It was my most liked photo on Facebook this year and among my favorite shots from 2012.
This week’s photo challenge asked us to put forth our year in a dozen pictures. Rather than try to select my 12 favorite –an impossible chore really– I decided to look back at some new ways of shooting that met with some degree of success.
When looking back, it quickly became clear that 2012 was very much about motion. During my 13 days in London for the Olympics, I really enjoyed experimenting with slow shutter speeds at tube stops. I especially liked making eye contact with this woman at the Notting Hill Gate station –more about this shot is here— and below her, catching another woman’s reflection on this moving train at the Mile End station.
This next one was taken from my rooftop here in Ljubljana facing southeast, a 59-second exposure around sunset. I like the splashed mix of color. I’ve been keeping an eye out since for similar skies but with faster moving clouds. I’m sure that day will come. This was part of a nightscape series I began in October with this post of black and white long exposures.
These next two were also taken from the rooftop, the first just a simple scene during a gentle rain and the second the lone shot that emerged from my first experimentation with a pan-pull-zoom (?) technique.
But it wasn’t all about motion. I also managed to collect a few frozen fragments of time. This next shot of Cuban pole vaulter Lázaro Borges was taken at a track meet in the north-central Slovenian town of Velenje. I really liked the contrast of the colors against the night sky. Lots more jumpers from that meet are here.
Next up is Vlado Kreslin, one of Slovenia’s most respected and popular singer/songwriters, belting out Texarkana during an REM tribute megaconcert in Ljubljana’s Congress Square, or Kongresni Trg, in September. More than a dozen bands played over the course of five-plus hours for a sensational finale to the summer. I posted a couple dozen photos here the day after the show.
The tail-end of the year also witnessed plenty of discontent here in Slovenia with spontaneous demonstrations and protests flaring up in all corners of the country. The Autumn of Discontent officially changed seasons on Dec. 21 with the so-called National Uprising Demonstration which attracted some 12,000 people to Republic Square near Parliament along with plenty of police. Don’t be fooled by the officer’s look; she was actually very nice.
Back in London during the Olympics, the full moon over Tower Bridge during a rare break away from Olympic Stadium.
I got to know The Ljubljana Moors, or Barje, Europe’s southernmost wetland, pretty well over the course of the past year thanks in large part to the bicycling addiction which replaced a cigarette habit of 28 years. The June early evening light made this night unforgettable.
And finally, this shot of Koseze Pond, northwest of the city center. When I approached on an early evening bike ride, I felt as though I stepped onto an architect’s perfectly color-saturated rendering of the area before it was built. A tighter shot of the same area is here.