In Photos: Richard's Picks of 2014

University of Alberta photographer Richard Siemens takes thousands of pictures every year, capturing the people, places and moments that make up the life of our campus community. Here are some of his favourites this year.

View more of the best of 2014

A flower grows in our garden

"The hybrid orchids at the Devonian Botanic Garden were already blooming in January. These buds, to me, symbolized the promise of renewed life every spring."

David Holmes, game changer

"I created this image by putting David against the backdrop of the intro screen from 'Life Goes On,' the game he was developing. The result really captures the dynamic feel of playing a video game."

Appeal of laughter

"I took some photos of this student for the new undergraduate viewbook. She was such a bubbly personality, she kept giggling throughout the photo shoot. She made it easy to capture her in a happy moment."

Outstanding in his field

"I liked this setup with [physicist] James Pinfold, who was hosting a Q & A at a screening of the documentary 'Particle Fever.' He suggested standing on the machine. I thought the angle, and the striking look of him in black, made for an interesting shot."

Clifford Cardinal's pipe

"I was photographing Clifford Cardinal, a professor of family medicine. He was holding a ceremonial tobacco pipe and explaining its importance in Aboriginal healing. That made me think the pipe would be a good subject as well."

The lady in red

"For this photo of Naomi Krogman, the academic director of the Office of Sustainability, I wanted to put the focus squarely on her. The weather co-operated by providing a soft, warm light, and she helped by wearing a red jacket that stands out against the backdrop of Rutherford South."

The great improviser

"This photo was for a Faculty of Arts story on Lacey Huculak, a history student and a member of the University of Alberta Improv Group. We did the shoot at a rehearsal space the group uses in Education North. The $10 bill is a prop she uses in her part-time job at a cosmetics store, to give people an impromptu history lesson about Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald."

Irfan Chaudhry, Twitter tracker

"I included the computer screen to incorporate all the elements of a story on Irfan Chaudhry and his research project to track racist tweets in Canadian cities. I wanted to make sure what was on the screen was reflected in his eyes."

Aaron Veldstra, artistic experimenter

"This shot of Aaron Veldstra, a fine arts master's student, was part of a photo feature on his performance art project on remediation and sustainability in the resource industry. It was something he had obviously thought about a lot, and that comes through in his contemplative pose. And I loved the beam of natural light coming from above."

Sandra Woitas, convocation cutup

"Every time I've ever met Sandra Woitas, I've seen her treat everyone like a pal and put people at ease immediately. And as you can see from this photo of her getting her honorary degree at this year's spring convocation, she had a way of making everyone around her laugh."

Daniel Gervais, violin virtuoso

Daniel Gervais, violin virtuoso

"Daniel is a champion fiddler, so we wanted to include a reference to that in the feature story we did on him for spring convocation. I did the photo shoot at his home. I like that it's a straightforward portrait, and the robe gives it a classic feel."

Obinna Ezulike, Vanier scholar

"I like the close crop and almost hard-edged lighting in the photo of Obinna Ezulike we used for a feature on his work as a Vanier scholar. Even without the overlaid math formulas, it would have been a great photo."

Campus pride, ready to wear

"We designed this photo specifically for an ad, based on an existing photo one of our graphic designers liked. We got the shot during the 'golden hour' near sunset, when the natural light is best. We were aiming for a look that could be any city in summer, but the name of the university on the hoodie is unmistakable."