Starting in 2008, every year I've made a printed wall calendar as a Christmas gift for friends and family. Each calendar features 12 of my photographs (or 13, counting the cover) taken during the previous 12 months.
The exercise of selecting and ordering a dozen images from a whole year's output is always interesting. Each individual image must be capable of giving pleasure over 30 days, but variety is important, too. This year, I shortlisted 24 images and asked artist and photographer friends to pick the 13 they liked best. The results were sometimes surprising, forcing me to evaluate my work from a new perspective. But of course the final selection respects my friends' collective wisdom.
Here are the 'winners', with brief background notes.
Cover – This is from the afternoon I spent with Marc Vanoverschelde in July, harvesting his organic wheat and rye crop at the Ferme du Hayon.
January – I took this at an exhibition of Japanese prints in Brussels. I like the very soft light on the faces of the mother and son, and the two diagonal lines, one straight and one wavy.
February – These two young women were walking out in Matonge, the African district of central Brussels. Apart from their obvious chic, I liked the nearly-but-not-quite symmetry of their dresses and hairstyles. The reversed cigrette of the one in blue is a nice detail.
March – This woman was taking part in the annual march against the detention centre for migrants at Vottem, just outside Liège. The orange of her glasses, which picks up one of the colours in her scarf, makes them push forward out of the frame.
May – I spent two days with the magnolias at the botanical gardens at Meise this year. My Nikon D810 with Nikkor 135mm lens and macro extension allows me to get right into these wonderful flowers. This one had already lost half its petals.
July – Brigitte and I spent a week in Corsica at the end of April, and I fell in love with the huge weathered granite bolders which were used as rudimentary shelters by our ancestors in neolithic times.
August – Street photography in Ixelles. Is the cyclist visiting this vacant shop from the past or from the future?
October – I shot this couple at a wedding reception I was covering. I like the way her arms emerge into the light.
November – The relationship between this father and son looked excellent to me. The conversation, at an open air concert in Brussels' Parc Royale, was intense but respectful. The light between their faces is lovely.
December – I shot this in the mediaeval part of Poggio Moiano, a hilltop village about 70 kilometres north-east of Rome, on the evening of the annual festival. I spotted this little boy and his grandmother looking down on the celebrations, and she let me take the picture.