My Favourite Shots Of 2017 and My 2018 Mission
My Favourite Shots Of 2017 and My 2018 Mission
Welcome to the first blog post of 2018. Happy New Year
I wanted to take this opportunity to take a look back at how I think my photography has progressed in 2017, share my 5 favourite images from the year, with a bit of information on why they are my favourites, and talk a bit about my ‘mission’ for 2018.
But first a quick look at December.
Pretty much all of my photo shoots were landscape based and all of them were covered by my videos.
I made a trip up to Cabezon del Oro mountain for an afternoon / evening shoot to finally get an image I had been planning for a while, but needed the right conditions for.
I also had a very windy, but ultimately very successful evening shoot at Cap de l’Horta on the outskirts of Alicante which, despite being very cold and me getting very wet feet (again) resulted in some images that I am really pleased with.
Here’s the video that covers those trips
I also kicked off a new project in December, the Clear Skies project.
I find clear blue skies very difficult for landscape photography and, as such, find it difficult to get motivated when we have them. As I live in a country that gets a lot of sunshine that means we also get lots of days with clear skies. So I decided to kick off a project to work towards improving my images, and my inspiration, on those days
Here’s the video all about the project
Another trip resulted in some problems. I spent some time exploring the Sierra de San Pascual and taking images around sunset. Unfortunately I had some technical issues with the video and found that half of my footage was lost. The good part about this was that it made me go out one morning to shoot an end for the video and that resulted in a shot that I ended up being really happy with.
Here’s the full story
I then made a couple of afternoon / evening trips along the coastline, doing some exploring and even finding a new location by virtue of getting lost. The first trip produced a couple of nice images but the conditions were not really what I was hoping for. The second trip, once again resulting in very wet feet, produced some nice images and I have a new location to revisit one morning for a sunrise shoot sometime in the future.
Here’s the video
So, that’s it for the December wrap up.
I think that 2017 has been a year of growth for me as a photographer. It was around the middle of the year when I decided that I wasn’t making the most of the opportunity I had. I was getting lazy, not always making the effort to be out at the right times of the day.
So I did a major shakeup. I cleared a lot of images from my website, deciding that the gallery here would only be the very best of my work and that it would be restricted to a maximum of 30 images. That would mean that, in order for an image to make it on there it would have to be better than at least one of those already there.
I also started making more of an effort to get out and to focus more on the quality of the images that I was getting, rather than trying to get as many as possible.
I also started the vlog and I think this has added a new dimension to my photography. First it makes me consider what I am doing more when I am in the field so that I can talk about it on camera, but it also helps me after the event, gives me a way to go back and remember how I was feeling at the time and this helps me when it comes to editing the images.
So… what did all of this produce?
Well, here’s my 5 favourite images from 2017, and a bit of explanation on why they are my favourites.
The first one was actually shot at the start of 2017 on a trip we made to the city of Cordoba. I had decided that I wanted to get a shot of the Roman Bridge and I was hoping for a great sunset. That didn’t come off. The sky was really cloudy and there was almost no colour. I did get a nice shot around sunset but it wasn’t what I was really hoping for.
Once the sun had gone down the lights started to come on and I decided a ‘night’ shot might be better. I took one that I really liked but the composition was pretty much the default for the scene. So I moved around to the opposite side of the bridge and took the shot from an angle that is rarely used. This one has made it to my favourites because of that subtle change in view that makes it a more unusual shot of this scene:
Next is the image that really triggered my rethink about how I was approaching my photography. I had made a trip to El Hondo nature reserve early in the morning. It was a beautiful morning, a bit of cloud, no wind, so great reflections, and the light was lovely. When I looked at this image, and then compared it to images that I had taken over the preceding few weeks, I felt that this image was so much better than those I had been taking, and it was all because of the efforts I had made to get it.
My next two favourites were actually taken at the same location.
EL Banyets is only about a 20 minute walk from home but I hadn’t been there for quite a while. I ended up going back a number of times at sunrise trying to get something different. Sometimes the conditions didn’t work out but, because it’s so easy to get to, I just kept going back.
Finally I got a morning with conditions that were not only beautiful but actually quite unusual in terms of the colours that developed on the scene. I think it’s that unusual colour pallet that appeals to me in this one.
I still went back a few more times and it was on one of those later visits that my next favourite image was created. It was a day with quite a lot of wind and this was creating some nice waves braking over the rocks. I had already captured an image that I was pleased with when I noticed how the waves were breaking in another section of the area.
I set up to get a shot and experienced a phenomenon that I have since come across a few times. Just after sunrise the power and frequency of the waves increases dramatically. Just in front of where I was standing the waves were pounding and swirling. There was a lot of noise, the waves roaring but also loud bangs and cracks as the water was forced up into gaps under the rocks. I could feel the vibration through my feet. I managed to get one shot that I felt really captures the power and drama of what was going on.
And so to my final favourite of the year.
Cap de l’Horta is a headland to the north of Alicante city and has a lighthouse on top of a hill. The coastline is very rocky with channels carved into the rocks making for quite an interesting scene.
I have been here lots of times, and even managed some quite nice images, but I really felt there was something better to be had here if only I had the right conditions.
On this particular day it was windy and the waves were breaking over the rocks. There some cloud, quite a lot of it, but the promise was there of a great sunset. I originally planned a shot with the hill and lighthouse reflected in one of the shallow pools of seawater on top of the rocks but it was too windy for that and I ended up standing on rocky ledge, with the tops of the waves breaking over my feet, while I waited for the light. I was cold, my feet were wet and I was struggling to shoot video in the conditions. But I was loving it!
Shortly after sunset the wind dropped a little bit and I did mange to get the reflections shot, for a while I couldn’t decide which one I preferred but, in the end, this shot that I took with the waves breaking around my feet ended up being my favourite.
So what about 2018?
Well, we actually finished 2017 off with a trip to Andalucia and I have a video and images to share from the trip that will be coming out on the 6th January. I will cover the trip in more detail in the next post at the end of January but here’s a quick teaser trailer for the video (links to Facebook)
As far as future plans go. They can be summed up in four words.
“Do more, go further”
Basically I am intending to get out even more in 2018, explore more and take more pictures. I am also intending to go further afield, exploring new places further from home, while still taking the opportunity to shoot locally.
So, thats it for this post. I will be posting my monthly tip in the middle of January as usual.
In the meantime I hope you’ve enjoyed this read and watching the videos. Likes share, comments and subscribes are always very much appreciated.
Until the next time, Happy 2018 and have a great month.
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