Reflections of 2013 in Photos

Photography is an art of observation.  It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~ Elliot Erwitt

What better way to look back on the year I’m leaving than by reflecting on photos from 2013.  You may know that I have a passion for travel, wildlife and writing, but ever since I received my first camera as a child I’ve loved photography.  The ability to capture a moment in time was like magic at my figure tips.  Granted back then we waited days to actually see the results – a foot, the bottom half of someone’s head or a blur of fur.  Now with digital cameras we get instant gratification – or something to delete and try anew – and so my love for photography only grows.  I love it when an image can bring back all the sights, sounds and scents of that moment in time.  I love how photos bring a rush of feelings like exhilaration, love, humour and even sadness.  The following are my top 10 photos from 2013!

scarlet ibis

scarlet ibis @ Bird Kingdom


10. Hold On

The scarlet ibis one of my favourite birds, with their delicate legs, slender scarlet red bodies and quizzical looks they give.  I love this photo of one precariously gripping the hand rail at the Bird Kingdom.  It makes me think of holding on tight to the life you want, but not too tight as to miss out on new opportunities.

vivid tree

9. Enjoy Colours

I must admit with the purchase of my new camera this year I have been nothing but happy with the results.  I love this photo of a tree in the fall, going through the beautiful colour changes.  I took this photo on my first solo trip, that I took this year for my birthday, in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I love the vivid colours, a whole range of them from bright red, to orange to green and the dark solid frame of the tree’s trunk.  To me traveling solo really helped my see things more clearly, like these vivid fall colours, but to me this image also symbolizes growth – in myself, in my blogs and hopefully in my writing.

niagara falls

8. Have Fun

This photo screams HAVE FUN!  I took this image while visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario this summer.  My friend and I took a stroll down the main drag at night and took in the sights and visited a maze of mirrors attraction.   Oh, we had a great laugh in that maze of mirrors, the bend over, hold the wall, cry your eyes out kind of laugh, if it wasn’t for another group of people who helped lead us out, we might still be in there, lost and laughing.  When I see this photo I can still feel the energy bouncing off everyone enjoying their night – the excitement and thrill of having fun.

horseshoe falls

Horseshoe Falls

7. Keep Dreaming

Another of my favourite photos, this one taken at my visit to Niagara Falls, Ontario too.  I love how I was able to capture one of the three rainbows over the falls and also the movement of all that rushing water.  To me this photo symbolizes the need to keep dreaming, and dream big!  It is from these dreams that we create our world and make the lives we want to live.

CN Tower

6.  Reflection

I love the ability, especially on a beautiful sunny day with blue skies, to capture the reflection of an iconic building or other images in a glass building, lake or pool of water.  This photo was taken the weekend of my first TBEX conference in Toronto, in June of this year.  To me the photo has so much meaning, not only reflecting on what I what out of my blogs, but also learning to reach for the sky when it comes to my goals.

the firebird
5. Creativity

I met this statue on my visit to Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s called ‘The Firebird’.  This statue stands guard out front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, a blaze, in all its glory.  I immediately connected with this statue, with all its reflecting mirrors, its outstretched wings, and it’s somewhat comical appearance.  To me, this photo of ‘The Firebird’ symbolized rebirth – in a new solo travelling me, in openness – being open to new ideas and experiences and creativity – to never stop creating and indulging in your inner artist.

asian elephant

4. The Spirit of Animals

I love this image of an elephant from my visit to African Lion Safari this past summer.  They bring all the elephants over to this large lake and they go for a swim.  As a lover of all animals I was touched by the fun and spirit these animals had in the water.  The photo of this elephant spraying water out of its trunk made me laugh.  And so, this image makes me remember to enjoy life to the fullest, to be light and playful and to keep smiling.

me
3. Be Yourself

If there is one thing I’m sure of it’s be yourself! And that includes selfies – yes I said it.  I think it’s okay to take photos of yourself, especially when you’re by yourself, and I’m not talking about those sexy selfies that are really for others not for you, I’m talking about the cute, fun ones that make you happy – like this one I took of me and the tortoise statue at the Toronto Zoo this summer.  Like the saying goes, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

simba the cat

2. It’s the Little Things

Even though I love to travel I also love the simply life at home with my ‘little man’ – Simba the cat!  This sleepy portrait of my cat makes me smile and think that we all need to slow down and relax once in a while.  I realized this year that it’s the little things that really count, the small things that make life brighter.  Whether you’re on the road, half way around the world or back in your own bed we all need to stop for a moment and be grateful for what we have, who we have in our lives, and don’t forget to be grateful for who you are.

wye marsh

1. Connect With Nature

One thing I always try to stress is our need to get out and connect with nature.  Whether it’s a stroll along the lake, a visit to a local park or green space, go hiking or simply get lost in the wild.  It doesn’t matter if it’s in your own backyard or in a whole different country, I feel that connecting with nature – the trees, the grasses and flowers, the earth and the sky – helps us recharge our batteries, especially in this world of websites, Facebook and cell phones.  This photo is one of my all time favourites and captures the beauty of nature at the Wye Marsh.

Do you have a favourite photo? I would love to hear about it!

Stephanie

I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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