2012 had been a particularly difficult year for me personally and I decided that 2013 would be much better.
I had decided in terms of my photography I would endeavour to understand how light works in photographs. I bought a speed light and soft box over the Christmas period last year.
It was sometime till I actually got it out of the box and decided to do some photography using it more of that later.
Since then I have purchased an all in one umbrella.
Following Will Cheungs article in Advanced Photographer magazine, where Will chooses his 10 best images of the year and decides to get them printed I thought I would take this idea and select my 10 images of the year and explain my reasons for their choice. In the end selecting 10 images was extremely difficult and the end I have selected images I like best and not tried to restrict myself to much.
My wife is always a willing subject in front of the camera, for me anyway, and in the summer on our holiday in France we were walking along the beach near Calais I got what I perceive to be the best image of her that I have taken. It was a beautiful day in August and the walk along the beach that morning was very special and I think that this is reflected in the image of Gail.
To me the image portrays how relaxed she is even though her hair, which is her prized asset, appears to be slightly unruly, makes the image work beautifully.
In the summer a good friend of mine and model Sammie, asked me if I would photograph her end of year college fashion collection, other friends of ours Jamie and Georgia would be modelling Sammies collection too.
We decided that a good location for the shoot will be in the local disused quarry. Tracy Edwards, photographer, good friend, also a good friend of the girls would form part of the team.
We all met on a June evening at the quarry and had quite a special time photographing three girls in Sammies creations.
These photographs of Sammie collection my personal favourites of the evening
The good news was that Sammie was accepted for University in Manchester to study a degree in fashion, she continues to study there today.
More of the evenings events can be found by visiting Tracy’s blog, the link is attached.
Following this shoot Tracy and I approached Georgia and Jamie carry out a shoot in the autumn loosely based on a Christian Dior theme, i.e. models would be dressed in their best frocks and will take the shoot local to a ford and woods in our locality.
We would be using off camera flash for the event and natural daylight.
We all met up on the Sunday morning and travelled to location. Much to our amazement on arriving the ford was empty even though there had been quite a lot of rainfall in the previous week.
Not to worry, we set up our soft boxes and had the girls pose by the river in their posh frocks and started the shoot. Unfortunately the weather was against us and started to rain quite heavily so we moved under the trees to get some more shots at this location.
The rain then started to ease and we were able to get shots of the girls on the bridge adjacent to the ford.
We then decided to head back to our local town to get some gritty urban images of the girls in and around the town.
These are my favourite images of the day.
More of adventures with Jamie and Georgia can be found by reading Tracy’s blog , link attached.
Another amazing experience was my day with Bruce Smith, internationally acclaimed fashion and portrait photographer. Bruce’s day event was held in Liverpool and was to explain how to work with natural light and reflectors to produce stunning images.
Bruces style is quite unique, he shoots many images at one sitting was continually directing the model and moving reflectors to get one image that has what he calls the magic dust.
Images below are taken on the day using only natural light.
Another style of photography I tried was event photography following a request by friend of mine to photograph the charity event that she was organising for her friend who unfortunately is suffering from cancer.
My favourite image of the evening all the girls lined up in their dresses.
More of my experiences as an event photographer can be found by reading my blog, link attached.
I offered my services as a prize in my local watering hole to photograph a family in their home.
Photographing children or young teenagers was a new experience for me, however following the shoot the Client were delighted with the images I produced on the day. The one that I have chosen is my favourite portrait in the day shoot and I thank the Riley family for the opportunity, and the experience it gave me for shooting in someone’s home and family environment.
Whilst on a Welshot imaging event in October I captured an image of Bethany Cammack, Bethany is an experienced model and has been widely photographed, she is also a campaigner for the Bullies Out campaign.
This image was very well received on my Facebook account by Bethany and also those that the event. Therefore this image made it to my favourite images of the year.
On another shoot with Tracy we photographed Rachel. Rachel a dancer and budding model is a good friend Tracy’s, this images were taken using my soft box at a location close to our homes.
My website is hosted by the image file. The image file email me to ask for permission to publish a landscape image of mine on their homepage, I like this and because I composed the people at the third points, a similar image to this regularly featured on Flickr’s homepage that I have always admired.
Another image taken on the same day this, and same-day that I captured Gails portrait was a couple walking along the beach. I like the image because it portrays a lovely day on the beach that everybody appeared to be enjoying.
Earlier in the year, FA Cup final day to be exact I attended and photographed a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Led Balloon.
This is my favourite image of the night making it into my favourite images of the year.
Another choice is of Hazel Clark, Hazel models regularly for Welshot imaging and this image of her was taken using a Nikon 85mm 1.8 that Will Cheung owns , Will was leading the event, this image was taken at f2.8 with off camera Flash giving the lovely bokeh behind Hazel.
My final choice is an image of Whitehall, one of my favourite places in London. The image was extremely well received and I think it will be printed on canvas for my Dad, he loves Whitehall too.
In the end have I learnt lighting techniques to a better degree throughout the year?
I am pleased with my progress however with all things in life there is much more to do and learn.
Hopefully next year I will become a better photographer, thanks my wife for putting up with my obsession and continual book/kit buying and to Lee and Eif at Welshot for providing support on the way.
To everybody that reads my blog, have a fantastic 2014, make it count, there is a whole world to enjoy.