Well its the end of the year and that means many in photography circles the world over put together their Best of’s, Favourite Images, End of Year Reviews etc. Who am I to rail against the norm, I’m all for following the crowd so here are 10 favourite images I’ve made through 2015 that I particularly like, felt are a success or have a personal meaning to me.
I have only included my Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) images (I do also like a good few of my “straight” shots from this year but as I’m quickly becoming known for this alternate type of photography I thought it only right I stick to the single style for this end of year collection).
…in chronological order
Made early in the year while on the banks of the Aln river with good photography friend (and good photographer) Andrew Atkinson. While the day the image was made was a good one, during processing I was in a pretty black spell, hense the dizzying visual, dark tones and bleak image title! I often find that when I’m having “off” days I produce my best work. I highly recommend letting your emotional state determine the style of editing.
Following that one, is this delicate piece where a blend of colour and a minimal hint of a shape come together to give an almost watercolour painted look. This became more apparent when I printed it. Before it was printed it was almost discarded as a “nothing” image, but came into its own when printed on some lovely textured paper (Fotospeed papers of course!). It was also one of the first of my ICM images to travel internationally and a print of it currently resides in sunny Florida.
A week in Scotland was one of few adventures in 2015, a very enjoyable trip with good friends and good banter mixed with stunning scenery but generally unhelpful weather. Very little of my ICM techniques worked well during normal daylight hours and indeed I put that in the bag for large portions of the trip but once the light went on this beach on the west coast (about 11pm) was when I finally got some outstanding data I could work well with.
A second image from Scotland, this time near Torridon. Some trees at Torridon are supposedly well known to landscape photographers (according to Damien Taylor anyway) so of course we had a few goes at capturing them. It took a few edits but once this version came along I knew I finally had a successful image (or two if I count the panoramic crop I made this from).
This next one is possibly my favourite from the year. Often when I begin editing an image, especially when I’m assembling them from multiple exposures, I have no idea where they are going and this was very much one of those!
Many will know that I am inspired by the work of Chris Friel and one of the elements I love about his coastal work especially is how he works with light on water. So this image of the harbour at Beadnell I consciously made by facing toward the sun to ensure there were lots of light reflections to have highlights to work with in the editing phase. Mix in some of my regularly used colours and I ended up with a image I’m extremely pleased with.
Same location, same late August evening, similar aim and probably in my top 3 images of the year. Initially I was looking to make the light reflecting inside the harbour the star of the image, but the hints of the shapes of the moored fishing boats, make it for me.
Most of my images rely on the recognisable outlines of landmarks to provide a context and some grounding, no matter how minimal and to local eyes the unmistakable Bathing House at Howick graces this image with its shoreline profile amongst swirling seas.
Another of my adventures this year (I don’t get out much!) was off down to an old stomping ground of Derby to meet up with former university friends as it was 20 years since we all started the post-school phase of our education (i.e. heavy drinking). I sought out the Cathedral and letting the autumn colours rule the final edit this sketchy abstract came about. Later when experimenting with some textures I added one to this and gave it a different feeling again.
Rounding off the year is something a little different. I follow a good few photographers on twitter etc. that excel at tree photography, they make true art out of what can easily be considered a simple tree. Well this is me moving away from wider landscapes for a moment and making a small “study” on a soggy Sunday in November.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed these few images (all available as prints). If you have, please consider following me into 2016 through my various social media platforms and also my newsletter.
I wish you all good health and happiness for the New Year!