Top 10 – Year 2

Despite occasionally claiming that I would finish this blog after the first year, or the second, I appear to still be going — thus making its title out of date, by two years now, but never mind.

Here are my favourite 10 photos from the second year of the blog, 26/8/12 – 25/8/13, presented in chronological order.

Outside Victoria, 15/11/12

15th November 2012. This scene is taken right outside Manchester Victoria station, which I pass through every time I go to the city, so it’s quite familiar. But I like this because of the many lines and the great colours, and just because I saw the shot as I walked past and it all worked out just as anticipated. I don’t even mind that there’s a smudge on the lens – you have to know it’s there to see it.

Valley of Lights, 29/11/12

29th November 2012. Taken at Hebden Bridge’s “Valley of Lights” festival. I tried to take a great many photos that night and almost none of them worked out because I don’t want to use a flash. But this one is great, I love the faces of the family. The sort of picture that I want to give to these people, only I don’t know who they are.

Fish van, 20/12/12

20th December 2012. Another common scene, Hebden Bridge market. In fact, this is taken barely ten yards away from the picture above. I like it because it captures the feeling of a cold, wet pre-Christmas day, while also getting in the warm lights of the market, reflected in the puddles on the tarmac.

Back to winter, 16/1/13

16th January 2013. This picture has not been cropped at all, which is rare for me. The framing is just right though – which considering I took this through the window of a taxiing aircraft, on the runway of Schiphol airport in the Netherlands, is good work. (Well, one has to do something while taxiing at Schiphol — you land miles away from the terminal, practically in Belgium.) I might have done without the crane on the horizon, and the sun’s mildly posterised, but what the hell.

Hyde Park, Sydney, 9/3/13

9th March 2013. Best street portrait taken in the second year, in Hyde Park, Sydney. She is just gorgeous, and although one might think that her friend/partner has been captured in an unflattering way, I like the fact his body forms an almost perfect pentagon.

Helicopter and 3 sisters, 12/3/13

12th March 2013. When I saw this helicopter flying towards the Three Sisters, at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, I tried to capture it in three or four shots and thought I had blown the lot: they had to be taken right into the sun. But even though the colour balance was blown on this one, knocking it down to monochrome made it work, and the moment was not lost.

Cassowary, 28/3/13

28th March 2013. The best thing about Australia for me was the exotic flora and fauna, particularly the bird life, with this cassowary being the most beautiful of all. Admittedly this one was in a zoo, but they are too rare in the wild these days to have a hope of capturing one there. I worked hard at this shot, 15 or 20 minutes trying to get this handsome creature to step into the light just so. Eventually, it did. Best ‘wildlife’ photo of the second year.

Storm, Stradbroke Island, 3/4/13

3rd April 2013. Fourth ‘top 10’ photo within a month, as the Australian autumn proves a rich seam. This was taken from North Stradbroke Island. The storm missed us, but is captured in camera at just the right moment.

Sotrabrua, 6/6/13

6th June 2013. Back in the Northern hemisphere, but this is not taken at home: this is the Sotrabrua, just outside Bergen, in Norway. Taken from the cruise boat on which I spent a chilly evening with several hundred partying Norwegians, but they did not distract me from getting this shot at exactly the right moment.

Joe, hotel window, 25/7/13

25th July 2013. Best portrait of a family member or friend. Joe looks winsome at the window of our hotel, as we both wait for Clare to do whatever it was she was doing.

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