If you are familiar with Instagram at all you’ve probably seen #2017BestNine start popping up. It’s a fun way to see your “Best Nine” photos from the past year, of course 2017 designating this year as the year we are looking at. Keep in mind, I believe the best nine photos are chosen simply based off stats such as likes and comments, and are not an indication of any sort of artistic values.
With that in mind I thought it would be fun to go through my best nine from 2017 according to the stats on Instagram! Of course, if you are interested in checking out my feed you can find me over at Instagram @dave.szweduik and if you like the work I’m sharing there feel free to give me a follow! It’s by no means the ONLY type of work I shoot, but I try to keep it mainly focused on nature and small town life here in Northern Minnesota for that feed.
So what do they say were my #2017BestNine?
Not too bad, in fact at least a few of these I’d say were some of my very favorite photographs I made during the course of the previous year. Let’s take a little closer look at them individually and I’ll tell you just a little bit about each photo.
First up we have the dreamy bokeh-fest of spring sunset as it drenches some ground flora in it’s warming light. This photo was made just at the edge of town where I live while I was walking around a little trail system known as Maple Hill.
Fuji X-T10 | Fuji XF35mm f/1.4 | ISO 200 | f/1.4 | 1/640th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Kodak Portra Pack
Next up is a small pebble at the edge of a large puddle at sunset. We had received a lot of rainfall during the day and when the clouds broke we had a big red sun filled sunset due to the wildfires out west. This photo was actually just an experiment to try to find a different perspective on the beautiful colors in the sky.
Fuji X-T10 | Fuji XF35mm f/1.4 | ISO 200 | f/1.4 | 1/680th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Rebecca Lily Premium Color Grading Pro Set IV
This next image is from that very same evening as the previous photo, just a simple composition with the red sun and tree line silhouetted as the pines cradled the setting sun.
Fuji X-T10 | Fuji XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM | ISO 200 | @200mm | f/11 | 1/105th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Rebecca Lily Premium Color Grading System Pro Set IV
Moving on from the red sun, the next image is from the popular Gooseberry Falls State Park up the North Shore of Lake Superior here in Minnesota. I had a chance to go visit the falls in Early June, but the day was super overcast and blah, so I tried to focus on a creative way to capture the water movement and rocks. Time for a 10stop ND filter for those mid-day long exposures!
Fuji X-T1 | Fuji XF10-24mmF4 R OIS | @16.6mm | ISO 200 | f/14 | 26 seconds | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Portra Pushed Pack
In terms of emotional color, this next photo may be one of my favorites. I was just wrapping up a real estate session up on beautiful Lake Vermilion as a storm started to roll in at sunset, so I quickly set up in the fading light to capture the pastel tones of the coming storm as the last of daylight filtered through. The colors, at least to me, sing of those warm summer evenings where a nice breeze comes in off the lake as you sit with your feet dangling off the dock. Total mellow relaxation.
Fuji X-T1 | Fuji XF10-24mmF4 R OIS | @13.2mm | ISO 200 | f/16 | 10 seconds | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Rebecca Lily Premium Color Grading System Pro Set IV
Going back to winter, this photo was one of my absolute favorites from a great morning out shooting. I was out with a friend, showing him around one of my favorite hiking trail/photography spots and the weather conditions all of a sudden ripped open and blessed us with amazing light and the wind pushing the fresh snow off the pines. Felt like something straight out of the magical land of Narnia or Middle Earth. Fun fact, this photo was the first print sale I’ve had that directly came from Instagram.
Fuji X-T1 | Fuji XF56mm f/1.2 R | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/110th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Kodak Portra Pack
I’ll be honest. Over the summer I was pretty busy with some commissioned work between real estate and portraits, but I didn’t get a lot of time to go out and just make photos for myself. There wasn’t a lot of free time for just exploring and wandering with my camera. So I would squeeze in 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, whenever I could. This next photo was made on one such occasion where the sunset just erupted out of nowhere and I got to the closest interesting location I could, a small backroad that gave me a good view of the sky with our little airport in the distance.
Fuji X-T10 | Fuji XF35mm f/1.4 R | ISO 200 | f/1.4 \ 1/480th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Kodak Portra Pushed Pack
You guys, for the next photo I cheated. It’s actually a photo I made late June of 2016. I just hadn’t posted it until March of 2017. So it’s a Latergram, but it was posted in 2017 and found it’s way to my best nine somehow. This is just a small dock at a local lake in Chisholm, MN which I photographed an early sunset one evening while out for a walk.
Fuji X-T1 | Fuji XF10-24mm F4 R OIS \ @10mm | ISO 200 | f/14 | 1/10th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Kodak Portra Pushed Pack
This last photo was from the same place as the first photo on this list, the Maple Hill park in Hibbing, MN. This was another great spring evening as I was out taking in a quick sunset and just couldn’t get enough of the great light soaking everything! Easily another one of my favorites for the year.
Fuji X-T1 | Fuji XF56mm f/1.2 R | ISO 200 | f/1.2 | 1/400th | Processed in Lightroom Classic with Mastin Labs Kodak Portra Pushed Pack
So there you have it, my “Best Nine” from 2017. If you want to check out your own best nine photos on Instagram head over to that link! It’s always interesting to see what photos performed the best for you over the last year! Of course I’d love it if you headed over to my Instagram Feed @dave.szweduik and gave a look through the last year! Hit that follow button while your there and let me know what photos you would change on MY best nine! Also stay tuned for an upcoming article about Instagram that I have been working on for a while regarding Instagram and how it can kill your creativity! It’s something I’ve had on my mind for a while and it’s just taking a while to put it all into words!
Of course lastly, if you go create your own best nine compilation of your IG feed, I’d love to see what you come up with so hit me up in the comments with it!