Thursday, January 13, 2022

Reviewing Photos from 2021


red flower photo by mbgphoto
Beauty from Behind

Whether you are taking photos for fun or professionally it is a great exercise each year to review the photos you took the year before.  By doing this you will help yourself to become a better photographer. Looking through the previous year's photos and picking your favorites will tell you a lot about yourself as a photographer.  It will give you a better idea of what type of photos you tend to gravitate to and also what types of photos you need the most improvement.  I challenge you to take some time to look at last years photos and pick out few that you feel are your best. 

My Review of 2021 Photos

I took this challenge in a couple of photography groups in which I participate.  I found it to be a fun and rewarding experience. 

I have three different cameras that I use on a regular basis.  A Sony DSLR A57, a Sony mirrorless 6300, and my iPhone 11 Pro.  When I went through the photos, I did not look for ones from each camera, but rather just looked for the photos I liked.  I was surprised to find that all three cameras were represented in the 13 photos I ended up choosing as my favorites.

I had played around a lot in Lightroom and Photoshop during 2021 and I found a few photos in my favorites that reflected some of the new features I learned.  But I also noted that some of my favorites just went back to basic good photography without any enhancements added.

My Favorites for 2021

One of the photos I really liked was a photo of the Wolf Moon taken on January 28, 2021.  This photo was taken with my Sony DSLR and a 600mm lens.  I used an f stop of 6.3 and a speed of 1/400.  

wolf moon photo by mbgphoto

I always like to photograph birds and birds in the snow are particular favorite shots.  Here is one I captured in February with my DSLR with the zoom at 250mm.  It was taken through my sliding glass doors of some Cardinals at a feeder on our deck.

birds on a bird feeder photo by mbgphoto

Since we were homebound much of 2021, I found that I had a lot of backyard bird photos.  Here is another favorite.  A bluebird I took in April.  Again, with my DSLR camera this time with the lens zoomed in to 600mm.

Eastern Bluebird photo by mbgphoto

In April we got a new dog, Dixie, and she became a favorite model.  Here is a photo I took of her in May.  This one was taken with my mirrorless camera and a 25mm lens.  I edited it in Lightroom to select the subject and then black out the background with the exposure slide.  I like the effect.
jack russell terrier dog photo by mbgphoto

In June I went to a lavender farm to find some new subjects for my photography.  I took several shots with my mirrorless camera.  This one caught my eye with the bee on the plants.  It was taken with a 210mm lens and enhance in Photoshop with a Neural filter.  I like the look the filter gave to the photo.
lavendar farm photo by mbgphoto
Lavendar Farm

In July I captured these coneflowers with my iPhone.  It really does take great photos and the colors are brilliant.  

coneflowers photo by mbgphoto

A photo outing in September was to Art Hill in St. Louis where there was a display to honor those who were killed from 9/11.  It was called Flags of Valor and this photo was taken with my mirrorless camera with a 24mm lens.

Flags of Valor photo by mbgphoto

In late September we took a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden.  I had my Sony mirrorless camera with me.  It is really my go to camera now whenever I am out and about.  It is lightweight and I think takes a quality photo.  Here is a photo taken of some water lilies at the garden.

water lilies photo by mbgphoto

The next photo, also from the botanical garden is of the Japanese bridge.  Fall colors were just started to come out so I took this photo into Photoshop and enhanced it with a Neural filter.

Japanese bridge photo by mbgphoto

In October I went to a farm with a group that I am the mentor for their photography club.  We took photos of pumpkins and animals and some farm machinery.  Here is a photo of a tractor.  I was using my mirrorless camera and this one I took into Photoshop and used one of the Neural filters.

tractor photo by mbgphoto

In December I went with the group to downtown historic St. Charles.  Here is a photo I took of the visitor center.  Again, I was using my mirrorless camera.
St Charles visitor center photo by mbgphoto

The photo at the beginning of this article is one I took in October of a final flower on the pot on our deck.  I was using my Sony mirrorless camera.

My Photos on Zazzle

I enjoy making Zazzle products from my photos.  Here are a couple I made from my favorite photos from 2021.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. You are such a wonderful photographer, Mary Beth, that your photographs are outstanding no matter the subject or the camera type. Naturally Dixie makes a fabulous model, as do the birds, so if I had to pick one subject from the past year, it would be the live ones.

    My favorite subjects in photos overall are places. Always enjoyed your lighthouse photos, and especially your St. Louis photographs. I look forward to your photographs in the coming year.

  2. Your photos are always so beautiful Mary Beth! I love your suggestion of looking back at the photos over the last year. Like you, I find I gravitate to certain subjects, including our pets. I absolutely love your moon shot! I have never captured a moon shot that I am especially proud of. Since you have told me what you did, perhaps I can follow your example and finally get that picture I've spent so much time trying to capture. Thanks for always being so instructive and encouraging.

  3. Mary Beth you photographs are just beautiful and I'd be hard pressed to pick my favorite out of the ones you posted. Each one has something that just resonates with me. If pressed really hard, I would have to say the cardinals are my go to favorite, but as I said before all of them are beautiful. I think I should join a photography group just to stretch my wings a bit! Thanks for this!

  4. I love your gorgeous photos! I am in awe of the Moon photo, moons are so difficult to get right but you have achieved that so well. It would be hard for me to choose a favorite from all your photos , I love the birds and flowers and of course Dixie is simply beautiful! Love your Zazzle choices as well. It is a good idea to look back on photos taken in a year to see which we like best. Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. Your photos are outstanding. That picture of Dixie is amazing! It's so clear and defined - love the birdhouse photo as well - the colors in your photos are sharp (almost like a painting). You have some mad skills.

  6. You are such a talented photographer. With a keen eye for what makes a wonderful photo. God had blessed you with this wonderful talent! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Mary Beth, I always look forward to seeing your latest photos, and this retrospective of your favorites from last year is marvelous! You captured Dixie’s heart-meltingly sweet face perfectly. Your photo of the moon is outstanding! I love the way you captured the bee in the field of lavender and your bird photos are always a treat. Your photos of buildings are so much better than most I gave seen from other avid photography enthusiasts. You really do have a wonderful gift, and I’m grateful that you share it with us!

  8. Love Dixie of course !! The moon and flags shots are favorites of mine too from this collection. The clarity of the flower shots are impressive!

  9. Mary Beth, any photo you take is both amazing and outstanding. All of your review photos are just beautiful. I do wish that I had that talent, but I'm just one of those point and shot kind of guys.

  10. Mary Beth, I love your photos. I totally agree that it is a good thing to review your photos from the year before... or even the year before that. You can easily see your growth and your style. Unfortunately, I broke my Sony camera and haven't yet looked into getting it repaired.


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