And Now, My Favorite Photo That I Took in 2020

It’s this one:

A bouquet of flowers viewed from above.
John Scalzi

Why this one? For several reasons. One, it’s a whole mood; they’re beautiful flowers, but they’re already beginning to fade and wilt, a reminder that beauty is transient. Two, the light and shadow here is almost painterly, which is partly due to how it’s shot and partly the magic of Photoshop. Three, the photo is well composed. Four, I took it with my phone camera and feel pretty smug about coaxing a photo like this out of it (again, Photoshop helped). Five, as soon as I took it this song started playing in my head, no doubt due to the similarity of this photo and the cover of the album the song is on:

So, yes. All of those reasons. I hope you like it too.

As long as we’re on the subject of photos, here are some other photos I took this year that I believe have not previously showed up on Whatever this year. Enjoy.

— JS

15 Comments on “And Now, My Favorite Photo That I Took in 2020”

  1. If you’re coming to say the slideshow looks weird in mobile/email: I’m looking into it.

    Update: I changed the format. This should do better. Sorry for the initial mobile/email mess.

  2. I also thought of that New Order album cover, but the song that jumped into my head was “Age of Consent”

  3. You beat me to it, of course, but I immediately thought of the album cover to New Order’s “Power, Corruption, and Lies” from the first photo. It should be noted that the album cover is from a painting by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour. Or it might have been done by a cat, too close to call.

  4. That photo with the crescent moon at sunset (topmost at right on desktop) is very reminiscent of Mark Rothko. Was there really that sharp a division between the sunset oranges and the twilight blue, or was that touched up a little in post?

  5. I saw the flower photo & was immediately reminded of the paintings of Henri Fantin-Latour, one of my favourite artists. And then I scrolled down & saw the New Order link with the Fantin-Latour cover. It’s true, great minds do think alike!

  6. Yup, same here… my first thought without scrolling down was Power, Corruption & Lies!
    Nice photo – like the background material/pattern/texture as well.

  7. My favorite is the field full of big round bales of hay. We live in farm country, but hillsides covered with trees, and big fields are rare until you get to the Kanawha River bottoms, or up into Ohio. The amount of work involved in a field of half-ton bales of hay, how they are arranged upon the big curved field.

    Also like the sky photos.

  8. I once bought a book of painting reproductions that were had postcards as the back so you could remove them and send in the mail (remember when people did that?). That Henri Fantin-Latour was one of them; in fact it was probably the reason I purchased the book. Amazing that you could reproduce that with a phone camera!

  9. David Goldfarb:

    It looked like a bit like a Rothko when I took it out of the camera and I used Photoshop to make it more so. The alt text for the picture, in fact, says “Rothko Moon.”

  10. I really enjoyed wandering through the photos you posted. Was easy to get lost for a bit. But you really hit it out of the park with your favorite. Being able to convey a feeling with a photograph is a wonderful thing. Thank You. Tim

  11. Good work capturing a wide variety of subjects. Cats, skyscapes & flora are always enjoyable, and I especially like the monochrome flowers shown above.