Martin's 2016 Top Ten

Yearly Top Ten Photographs Selection Process (Podcast 555)

As we enter a new year, I'm completing my yearly task of selecting my favorite photos from the previous year, so today I'm going to walk you through my process in Capture One Pro, literally blow by blow as I whittle down my initial selection. I have actually just got...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Steven Martin
    Posted at 02:39h, 04 January Reply

    Hi Martin,

    I’ve been choosing my top photos of the year for three years now, although this year I did this a little differently, as a travelogue style report on my trips during the year.

    As you can see, I’ve included 23 images not 10! And this doesn’t include my recent trip to Venice over New Year’s (I’ve decided to count this as 2017 cheekily :)). Having just listened to your episode I might now reduce the 23 down to 10.

    Best wishes and a Happy New Year!

    • Glenn Smith
      Posted at 06:38h, 05 January Reply

      Some great shots there Steven, I’ve recommend going the extra step to get down to ten that’s where I learn the most about my photography that final kull down to ten, painful but you learn from your self which images are the stronger ones and why in this last stage. Great shots there.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:49h, 05 January Reply

      Nice work Steven! The post in itself works well as a travelogue, although I agree with Glenn, and as I mention above, please do go try to make time to drill down to your very strongest ten. This is hard, but the most valuable part of the process.

      Thanks for sharing though! Beautiful pics.

      A Happy New Year to you too!

      • Steven Martin
        Posted at 06:37h, 06 January Reply

        OK, I’ve done it 🙂 I’ve even included my trip to Venice over New Year’s (though not the one contender I took at around 8.30am on 1st Jan 2017!), giving me more photos to choose from. But I’ve chosen ten. And I agree – a worthwhile exercise.

        • Martin Bailey
          Posted at 08:51h, 06 January Reply

          Very nicely done Steven. That feels much more like a portfolio and the overall quality improved tenfold! Your original selection was good, but this is much more refined.

  • Glenn Smith
    Posted at 06:35h, 05 January Reply

    G’day Martin, I’ve just completed my top ten shots of 2016 last weekend, Link here
    I’ve been doing these now for the last few years following on from your suggestion a few years ago, you can certainly see how your photography grows doing this process. AS you say getting down to just ten is very painful, but definitely worth it you learn so much from the process and why you remove an image at the end you start to think of this when you take a shot, will it make next years top ten if not why not what can I do better. SO I find each year just form this part alone my photography improves. This year I took my first work shop locally here in Oz and have another one booked for next month. But the surprise of the year was when I was asked to run my own workshops, I’ve now one under the belt and two more at least planned for this year with the local Botanical Gardens, where most of my photography is taken. The aim is in a couple of years to get over there and do your wildlife and winter wonderland tours there, So hopefully in a couple of years I’ll be one of your students there :-).
    Take care and all the best there for the new year. looking forward to this years podcasts. Have a good one mate.


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:56h, 05 January Reply

      Great set Glenn!

      I like the way the three mountains repeat towards the top right in your landscape shot. The mushroom shots are very atmospheric too, and I love that second bird shot. You really nailed focus there and the colors are beautiful! Great moment with the swallows feeding too. Well done indeed!

      Thanks for sharing, and a Happy New Year to you!

  • Thomas Mauer
    Posted at 05:27h, 06 January Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for all your effort for this great podcast. Even though I like landscape and nature photography, it seems that my work – at least of the past year – is taking a break of that. Still I have one dog shoot in the top 10 that I created for a photo contest at my daywork place.
    Here are my top ten 2016 photo:

    Have a great new year!


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 08:56h, 06 January Reply

      Thanks for sharing Thomas! It’s a nice colorful set, with great variety. As a set the only one that doesn’t match in my opinion in the lady with the fire, but it’s only because of the processing. You might want to try increasing the contrast or deepening the blacks to make the purple background weaker. Maybe try auto-white balance on it too. It’s a great shot, so worth a little work.

      Have a great 2017 too!

  • Lloyd Kasper
    Posted at 18:42h, 06 January Reply

    Hello Martin, Happy New Year!

    This is my third year in a row at doing this exercise and once again tough choices…

    My starting point was 195 this year, and easily got that number down to 120, which I will have printed into a blurb book in the future. I really loved the advice you gave on using groups, and this really help in reducing the number. Getting down to 16 was achieved through multiple passes, but the last two when I got to 12 was the most difficult.

    Some interesting facts.. Only three of my photos where shot in my home country of Australia, which is a great feeling. It’s my first Top Ten with portraiture photos in it. My most popular lens is one of my oldest lenses; the Canon 70-300mm IS USM. I have two images with beautiful colour in the sky. And I’m very proud to say, not a single HDR image in there!

    I have also included my last two years as a benchmark


  • Mauricio Duque Arrubla
    Posted at 01:07h, 09 January Reply

    I started selecting my favorite pictures (maybe not the best…) in a monthly basis since January. In december I had more than 340 (out of 23000 made during 2016). I use lightroom and use stars. If I put a star the picture is somehow important for me, 2 stars I really like it. I used the 3 stars to the final 10 selection. If the picture is not remarkable it does not deserve any marking. After three rounds I had my final selection but I am publishing it one by day in my facebook and instagram accounts, for my friends and family. I am not anymore focusing on flickr and I do not have a website yet.
    I started doing this process in 2015 and I got more skillfull every day.
    I revisit the older pictures and consider new processing and cropping and it becomes a kind of nightmare. Anyway, I have only three photos pending to be published in my facebook and Instagram accounts and I will share the link with you the next Wedenesday, with the link to the 2015 ones also. Have a great 2017, Martin

  • Joshua Kuhn
    Posted at 17:07h, 10 January Reply

    Here is my 2016 top ten. This was my first year taking photography seriously, and I made major improvements as the year went on. I had never even post processed a photo before this year, and half of the year I was still shooting jpeg.
    Feel free to critique.

  • Boyd Turner
    Posted at 10:35h, 20 January Reply

    Hi Martin. My wife and I co-mingle our photos so we select our top 20 each year (10 color and 10 monochrome). We also tried something different this year. We put our photographic year into a 3 part retrospective on YouTube (and on our website). Each retrospective video is set to music and is about 4 minutes long. We felt that the videos gave us more of a story-telling view on the last year. The 10 favorites selection process was different in letting us really hone in on where our photography was quality-wise over the last year. Our favorites are directly accessible from our home page, the videos from the “Stories” tab on our website. Hope your winter tours are off to a good start. Here’s the link:

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