There is a trend these days for my photography friends to post their most popular images from the past year. That’s OK but it doesn’t always mean they are your personal favourites. I decided to do things slightly differently and choose my favourite image from each month of the year. But it proved easier said than done, as I had a couple of very lean months in February and December, where I wasn’t very active with the camera and during the summer months and in Autumn I was fairly productive with taking flower and tree images and that made it so much harder to pick a favourite.
So here goes…………
This image was taken on one of our favourite walks in Dalby Forest.
Near the end of the walk there is a viewpoint over Staindale Lake and I liked the reflection of the trees in the water. Rather than take a standard shot of the reflection I wanted to capture the movement of the water and reflection, so I opted for 1/3 second exposure which for me has given a more impressionist feel.
This was a tricky one, February was a lean time for me although Richard seems to have fared better. We were treated to one day of wet snow during February so we headed to the Wolds to see what we could find. We always stop off at these trees for a look and I got this shot. I had intended it to be mono but I liked the faint hint of orange here and there from the beech leaves so opted for colour on this occasion.
We were all getting very concerned by the Covid-19 situation by March so we started limiting our contact with others at the beginning of the month, two weeks before the lockdown proper.
We’d been invited to put up an exhibition at Lockton Tea Rooms and Gallery on the 7th March (to run for three months) but it ran for a grand total of a week before everything closed down, great timing!
Photographically we were in a quandary, we felt we couldn’t go out with cameras and tripods on our daily local exercise. So, we turned our attention to the garden and I started to produce a body of lockdown images.
April was dominated by tulips so it was really hard to pick a favourite, but I loved this bluebell I’d picked the previous month and left in a jar. It was starting to droop and die but I loved the soft delicate colour of the flower and shape it made as it died off.
A robin almost made it as April’s choice as we had a pair nesting in the garden. They got very tame and were soon eating mealworms out of our hands. We constructed an elaborate set up to photograph them and got some half decent images considering we aren’t wildlife photographers.
Another hard month to choose my favourite. In the end it had to be the Chives but only just. It was a month of experimenting with soft focus, dandelions, the tulip that was still hanging on from the beginning of April, and the Robin’s that had brought up their first brood.
Things were starting to relax a little this month so we could go a little further afield. We opted for a day in the Wolds photographing the flower meadows. This was by far my favourite from the month, taken using a Lensbaby velvet 56, you get a lovely softness and glow.
This was a close second, so I had to include it. Again, taken with the Lensbaby, I felt if enhanced to delicate flower.
I’d treated myself to some new Osteospernum plants and absolutely loved this white one.
Some of these were taken in situ in the garden, some inside out of the breeze, but all were taken using the Lensbaby.
July also meant we could meet up with friends outside, so we took the opportunity to have a socially distanced meet up with some photography friends at Saltburn. This is an image I took on the way home (in the rain) and I called it “Gimme Shelter”.
I’d picked a bud of an Agapanthus flower to photograph late one afternoon and left it overnight to photograph the next day, bad move, as it had opened overnight, so I didn’t get it emerging from the bud. I went on to take a range of images over the next week of the flower in varying stages, mostly with the Lensbaby.
We’d had a week on Harris booked for some time and it was touch and go as to whether we’d be able to travel with the current restrictions. We had conversations with the cottage owner and she assured us it was safe to go so long as we could get there as the ferries were running at reduced capacity. We did get there and had quite a challenging week weather wise, howling gales and sharp showers most of the week. We’d driven to the east side of the island to try and get out of the wind (we didn’t) and found a small lochan with these reeds blown over by the wind. What a find, this is by far my most favourite image from Harris.
October was another very good month, the autumn colour was in full swing and after a visit to Thorp Perrow we headed to Millington Woods for the colour there.
It was a fantastic day out, but slightly marred by the amount of litter we encountered. I experimented with multiple exposures of the autumn colour and I am really pleased with the results.
It’s very hard to pick a favourite from this lot! The autumn colour held on until well into November, so we ventured into our local woods as well as a trip to the Yorkshire Arboretum. More multiple exposures and I think the technique suits this type of image so well.
We were hoping for freezing foggy mornings so we could visit Strensall Common, but we got the fog but no frost. It was still a magical place to be in those conditions though and I came away with this image which I was more than happy with.
It’s been a very difficult year for many this year and we’ve all been severely restricted with what we can do.
I’ve found solace in my photography and this has opened up a new and exciting creative direction for me to follow.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts and I wish you all a very happy and most of all healthy New Year.