The Mole Biplane (Sodium sulfite 400X 23f)

Martin’s Personal Top Ten Photographs for 2021 (Podcast 765)

I've just selected my yearly top ten personal favorite photographs for 2021 and today share my thoughts on the process, along with my final selection.

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Show Notes & Links

Check out previous year’s Top Tens here:

Mole Biplane NFT:

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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.
  • Fred Kotler
    Posted at 04:42h, 01 January Reply

    I look forward to this episode each year. Very interesting abstract images but I think I prefer recognizable images such as the beetle. My top ten are at

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:40h, 01 January Reply

      Hi Fred,
      Yes, I can appreciate that the abstract micrography images aren’t for everyone. 🙂

      Your set is beautiful. I think my favorite is the bee shot. The light is beautiful and wonderfully sharp. Stunning image. Thanks for sharing!

      All the best for 2022!


    • Christian Meermann
      Posted at 12:56h, 03 January Reply

      Hi Fred.

      Just like Martin, I am impressed by the detail you captured in your images. I’d pick different favorites though. Eastern Phoebe, Northern Micking Bird, and Blue Dasher Dragonfly do it for me. Best wishes for 2022.

  • Christian Meermann
    Posted at 15:11h, 02 January Reply

    Hi Martin. Finally, I am getting around to checking out your top ten photos from 2021. What better way to start the new year creatively than with a good dose of inspiration? And your images provide plenty of it.

    After having seen and admired most of your photos on Instagram, I have to say that I am stoked at how much more impressive and spectacular your images look and feel on a larger computer screen. Instagram doesn’t do them justice. Too much incredible detail gets lost in the small format Instagram provides. If the price of Instagram’s convenience that we can’t appreciate the photos we came for appropriately any longer, then Instagram is pretty much obsolete.

    But I digress. From your selection, I think I like those images best that I can relate to, which, in this case, means that I can recognize what they are. Yes, your more abstract images are indeed fascinating, but if I cannot find out what I am looking at, my reception of the photo seems to get stuck on an analytical level. Sometimes, I find relief in the fact that I can see something in them, most strikingly so in “The Mole Biplane.”

    However, the astonishing realization that seemingly well-known items or scenes hold such an amount of detail and intricacy provides a degree of wonder and impact on an emotional level that cannot be trumped by analytical interpretation. But maybe this is just me.

    So, my favorites are Scarab Portrait, Vascular Bundles (both because of their spectacular detail), and Tatsusawa Falls. The sheen of the wet rocks in the Tatsusawa Falls is just magical. As an exception to the rule, I’d add The Abyss to my favorites list, even though it is much more abstract than the other favorites.

    Here’s are my top ten images from 2021:

    I wish you and your wife all the best for 2022, but most of all, health, strength, and a good spirit. See you around in 2022.

    • Fred Kotler
      Posted at 01:46h, 04 January Reply

      These are wonderful images. I love the simplicity and clarity in each of them. I especially like the zig zag, bridge and Norderney #1 photos. The Norderney is just so tranquil. The Lynx is magnificent. Great work.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 19:56h, 06 January Reply

      Thanks so much for the lovely comments Christian! I agree holeheartedly with your comments about Instagram. I think it is insufficient when it comes to viewing the details in images, and so much of the microscope work is about the details. I’m very pleased that you enjoyed seeing the images larger though.

      I understand what you are saying about getting stuck when you don’t easily recognize the subject. It’s easier for me as I have the surroundings in view as I work on these slides, but I intentionally pick out areas that are somewhat disorienting quite often, so it’s not surprising you get stuck. I’m pleased that you do find it fascinating though. Thanks again for your comments.

      Thanks also for sharing your own top ten. What an amazing set! The quintesential Christian Meermann. You have your landscapes, grand architecture, and your signature black and white wildlife. The Lynx is absolutely stunning, but the peacock blows my mind. Knowing how much color you’ve thrown out, yet the resulting image is totally vibrant, is a tribute to your art. I also really like the beautiful texture and drawing feel of Fall #24 and that band of lighter sky across Trivago Campus is incredibly subtle but without it the image would be much flatter. You really do create amazing work Christian. Congratulations on a wonderful set.

      All the best to you and your family as well.


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