Collage of seven photos
Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries

Gallery: you choose (I can’t!)

How good are you at self-criticism when it comes to photography? Are you ruthless about discarding less successful shots? And can you easily decide which of several is your best?

I reckon I’m quite good at the former task. Although I usually keep many of the shots I’m less pleased with, for the sake of the memories they hold, I weed thoroughly before sharing my endeavours. Whether for a blog, or elsewhere on social media, I find it quite easy to whittle hundreds of shots down to a few tens. But there I get stuck. Which is the very best is often a question that eludes me.

I started this compilation for John’s Lens Artists challenge, in which he asks us to share our favourite shots from 2022, by trying to pick out one shot in each of several categories. Each time I found myself torn between a handful of favourites. So I decided instead to let you choose which you like best. Maybe I’ll learn from your choices and find it easier to decide for myself next time around!

There are four to choose from in each category; just flick through the slide shows to see them. Please let me know in the comments your preferred option in each. Also, do say if you have an overall favourite.

Note: You will have seen many of these images before, but that’s hardly surprising given that they’re among those I consider my best efforts of the past year.


  • Modern office blocks and older brick building
  • Stone vaulting in a large empty room
  • Ornate balustrade against a panelled white wall
  • Modern stained glass with waterlilies

Flowers and plants

  • Pale yellow tulip drooping
  • Dramatic spiky bud
  • Coiled fern
  • Large pink flower isolated against the sky


  • Narrow road across a grassy hill with others in the distance
  • Hills, terraces, distant river and mountains
  • View of snow-capped mountains framed by a bare tree
  • Mountain peak with small hill in foreground


  • Yellow bulb against a monochrome brick wall
  • Cobbled street in yellowish lamp light
  • Sepia photo pf a man in a cap next to large machinery
  • Backlit bike leaning against a tree


  • Girl in a t-shirt with slogan 'Imagine Peace'
  • Girl sitting beneath a large advertising poster
  • Small girl feeding pigeons
  • Boys in yellow robes outside a shop

Sunrise and sunset

  • Silhouetted volcano and sky with orange clouds
  • Sunset over the sea framed by a tree
  • Sunset over a river with a boat
  • Snow-capped mountains tinged pink and small aircraft


  • Large bird with a big bill in a dead tree
  • Two blue dragonflies mating on a reed
  • Two black birds on a fence
  • Large single horned rhino among bushes

That’s the lot! Let’s see if there’s a consensus in any of the categories. If there are clear winners I’ll do a follow-up post in a few weeks showcasing them.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.


  • bluebrightly

    Sorry I’m so late, but the staircase in Sofia would get my vote – that’s a great photo. I like the road in Monte Verde and the bicycle in Paris, too. Those Jackdaws sure are cute and the sunrise over Annapurna, ahh, lucky you!!!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you, and you’re just in time – I plan to publish the ‘results’ later today 🙂 It’s been an interesting exercise, helping me to narrow down my own favourites as well as see what others thought. As you will see, I didn’t always agree with everyone else!

  • Mthobisi Magagula

    Beautiful blog post Sarah. You are quite the photographer and you have an eye for detail. All galleries here are amazing but my 3 favorites are the Sunrise, Architecture and Street Photos🔥🔥🔥

  • pattimoed

    Hi, Sarah. I can see why you found it difficult to choose! So did I! But I must add that the sets I enjoyed the most were the street scenes and the sunrise/sunsets. You have a great eye for capturing candid moments. All the best in 2023!

  • Teresa

    I can see why you’ve chosen these as your favourites. You’re so good at taking candid shots of people 👍

    As for me, I also find it hard to choose a favourite because like you, there’s an attachment that I feel because of the memories!

  • rosalieann37

    Just skimming over other people’s choices, I suspect I will be an outlyer

    Architecture 2. The Cellarium
    Flowers and Plants 3. Fern uncurling
    Landscape 4. Fishtail Mountain, but #1 Costa Rica is a close second
    Monochrome 1. Wall at the moon
    Street 1. London March – mostly because I like the slogan on her shirt
    Sunrise/Set 3. Chitwan NP
    Wildlife 2. Dragonflies although 3 was a close second

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you for voting Rosalie 🙂 Interestingly you are an outlier for some (e.g. the wall at the Moon and London march) but totally in line with most people on others (e.g. the Cellarium, fern and Fishtail Mountain)!

      • rosalieann37

        The reason I thought I was an outlier was that for the first one (Architecture), I saw that number 1 was picked by a couple of people at the top. The little girl that most people picked, I found confusing to look at. It was a lovely photo, but I didn’t understand it. (for Street). And the Wall at the Moon, I just loved the plainness of it – the single light and the space around it. Actually when I think about it, I like to have some space in photos and most of yours do that beautifully.

        • Sarah Wilkie

          That point about space s interesting. Yes, I do like to do that in many shots, but I also enjoy filling the frame from time to time. As to the little girl in Kathmandu, for me the flying birds give context as well as framing her, but I can see the composition might not appeal to everyone.

          • rosalieann37

            Probably due to my eyesight – I did not understand that she was feeding them – that is I didn’t see those light specks as seeds or food. so I didn’t see the reason for the birds. The girl herself was special and lovely

  • Wind Kisses

    You always bring it Sarah. I have always loved your shots of people, all of them. Today the little girl feeding the birds was cute.
    I loved the Fountain Abby for the impressive exactness it appears to be, and yet when you look at the bricks, you know how much work it took to construct it. Amazing. Fishtail Mountain is a WOW, and the boat on the river so peaceful. I agree with the others. You are an accomplished photographer (which is probably why you are hard on yourself) so to pick just a few would be unfair.

  • Leya

    Excellent, Sarah – as always! Now, I have chosen some that for special reasons speak extra to me. I agree on memories and feelings being important here.
    The Cellarium for shapes, light and colours in harmony
    Machapuchare for remembering that impressive sight – majestic!
    The little girl and the pigeons – for bringing a story to life
    Chitwan and Annapurna – also for longago memories
    The jackdaw portrait – they are such intelligent birds, and very interesting to watch when they are solving problems. Beautifully photographed.

  • Perpetua

    Just like you, I disposed thousands of photos and keep a handful. I must say your shots are well done. I am more inclined to choose street and nature photographs.

  • SoyBend

    Lots of wonderful photos, Sarah! Here are my favorites and why.
    Architecture – The Cellarium. Liked the repeating lines & shapes.
    Flowers – Magnolia. Liked the white background.
    Landscape – Monteverde. Liked the brighter green in the foreground.
    Monochrome – Bicycle. Liked the shadows and the lines in the grate.
    Street – Durbar Square. Liked how the main subject was in sharp focus surrounded by a “frame” of blurred wings.
    Sunrise/sunset = Volcan Aronal. Liked the mix of colorful & monochrome clouds.
    Wildlife – Dragonflies (those may be damselflies). Liked the contrasting color and focus.

  • photobyjohnbo

    I love your unique perspective on sharing your favorites. I do have a choice for you, though some of them were really hard to choose between considering their excellence.
    Architecture: The Cellarium
    Flowers and Plants: Fading Tulip (something about this one speaks to me… could it be that I am fading as well?)
    Landscape: Annapurna Range (That tree in the foreground)
    Monochrome: Street in Faro’s
    Street: In a Paris metro station (the dichotomy of the size of the two women is what appealed to me)
    Sunrise and sunset: Sunrise over the Annapurna Range
    Wildlife: Asian rhino

    Wonderful post, Sarah!

  • Marie

    Apologies if this comes up twice – I sent it already but no sign of it……

    Arch – 3
    Flowers – 2
    Landscape -4
    Mono -2
    Street – 2
    Sunrise – 4
    Wildlife -2
    And overall – if I had to choose – I’m going for Annapurna sunrise!!!

  • Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter

    Architecture 2
    Flowers and Plants 1
    Landscape 4
    Monochrome 4
    Street 4
    Sunrise and Sunset 4
    Wildlife 3

    But all fabulous! And as an aside, I’m very grateful to those who typed out a list so that I could just copy & paste then add my on numbers.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Cee 😀 I meant that maybe people could vote on their favourite within each category, but it’s also good to have feedback like this on favourite categories as a whole!

  • Anne Sandler

    Sarah, I had to get out pen and paper for this exercise! Architecture: New Buildings; Flowers: Uncurling Fern; Landscape: Three mountains; Street: Little girl; Sunrise and sunset: Narayana River

  • Amy

    What a treat to view these beautiful photos, Sarah! Love all of them. Thank you for taking time to selection and share with us.

  • ThingsHelenLoves

    Architecture- 4, Flowers & Plants-4, Landscape-3, Monochrome-2, Street- 3, Wildlife -3.

    I’ve no technical eye at all so these choices are based on gut feeling and personal preference.

  • Tina Schell

    At the end of the day I think Jo and Margaret say it best. Unless we are selling or competing, our favorites are those with which we have an emotional connection. My personal choice this week would be the little girl feeding the birds because it captures a moment and tells a lovely story.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Tina – I was really happy with that image after ‘stalking’ the girl for some minutes trying to get both her and the flying pigeons in the same frame 🙂

  • bushboy

    Not voting or even trying any more. I have spent too much time flicking through them to pick one. I’m not going to get caught with the next obvious question is to ask why did you like that one.
    There you go another clear response lol

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Very clear Brian – thank you 🙂 Although, would it encourage you to pick if I promised not to ask why? To be honest it hadn’t even occurred to me to do so – see my lack of such a query in my replies to Malcolm and Graham below!

  • restlessjo

    Photography is such a personal thing, Sarah. I’m not going to vote in all of the categories. I can only tell you what made an impact on me. I very much liked the delicate stained glass window shot in the first sequence, and it’s impossible not to be impressed with the Himalayas. You have several very lovely photos but for you they evoke a moment in time. Sunlight on water and magnificent peaks. What more can you want?

    • Sarah Wilkie

      You’re right about it being a personal thing Jo, which is probably why I can’t choose – although interestingly the more I look at the ones I included the more I do start to develop a leaning to one shot in the group! Maybe I should vote myself? 😂 I’ll take the comment on the stained glass window as a pseudo-vote I think!

  • margaret21

    For goodness sake Sarah! If you can’t choose, how do you expect us to? Not going to play! Every one’s a great photo, and for you invested with special memories too There is just one thing though – I meant to correct it the first time you posted a picture of them. Those birds at Studley Royal aren’t crows, but jackdaws, and very common just there. Great portrait though!

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!