Phew, 2018 is over and it was a rather likeable year, so no hard feelings.

Over at Instagram #2018bestnine is a real thing and everyone who’s anyone and everyone else, including me, downloaded some free app to automate the process of finding out, which nine pictures did best that year. Note to the uninitiated: I bought an app for a Euro and it only filters out pictures from 2018, so next year, I’ll have to heavily invest again.

The results surprised me a lot. Of course, I do also like these images, but they’re not really my favourite ones, or at least not the ones that represent where I thought I’d go with photography. Let’s break it down, shall we?

First of all: no portraits. No bloody portraits. I really like portraits and I also like the ones I made and I feel that it is much more of an artform to make a picture of someone that represents him favourably than it is to make pictures of the sun going down. But my portraits just don’t fly off the shelves in comparison to my other pictures. I’ll think about the implications of that later, maybe in a blog post sometime.

Second of all: no animals. After starting photography as part of documenting my travels to Africa, the next thing that came natural to me were zoo animals. I try to portray (there’s that concept again) them out of context. That is, I try to give them back their freedom by unshackling the frame of most elements that would hint at them being caged. And I really feel, that my animal portraits are quite touching. As a side-note: zoo-photography is a tricky thing from an ethical standpoint that I wrote about extensively elsewhere.

Third of all: most pictures were taken in Hamburg, even though they are not necessarily better than the ones taken on Mallorca or Madeira, in Bochum or Cologne. This is interesting, because I lovingly tag my images on IG in order to reach a wider audience, but either it doesn’t work or my Hamburg-based main audience is just not interested in anything outside of itself – a filter bubble of sorts.

Make no mistake – I really like the images and have included some of them in my yearly calendars, but I was really surprised that my own perception of my photography and the outside-world perception – while overlapping – are not the same.

Next time I’ll show some of my picks for 2018, but here they are in full resolution glory, my most-liked nine pics over at instagram.