When I started out doing serious photography a few years ago I was entirely focused on photographing birds in the wild. Having spent many a vacation birdwatching through the '80s and '90s (from the Isles of Scilly to Orkney) and always having a more than passing interest in photography, the two became fused in 2006 when I purchased a Canon EF 100-400 lens. I had a lot of fun with the old push-me-pull-you but it soon became apparent that it just did not have the image quality I was looking for (or indeed others were able to achieve with prime lenses).
In 2009 I blew my annual bonus (and some...) and purchased an EF 500 f/4; I have never looked back. My first club success came in winning the Natural History Competition at Ashford Photographic Society with the shot of a female kestrel, taken at Oare Marshes near Faversham.
Buoyed by this success I continued my bird photography, capturing some great images and having a lot of fun along the way.
One of the great things about joining a photographic club is that you start to network with like-minded people and, when you start to take notice of what they are doing photographically, you begin to realise how little you know and to appreciate the many other photographic opportunities that exist.
As Anthony has mentioned in his end of year post, we have all broadened our photographic horizons and will no doubt continue to do so. And for me, 2012 has been about diversity: landscape; portrait; portraiture; still life. None of these I'd really toyed with seriously before but I've really enjoyed the challenges that each of these bring.
So here's a slice through my 2012 photographic pie:
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
[If the slideshow fails please visit the flickr one]
Lessons from 2012
- Starting with the future in mind and reducing the number of variables I have to contend with
- A better understanding of light
- Slow down
- Everything is easy until you try it yourself!
- The power of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (4)
- I need to get better at mono processing
Looking ahead to 2013
In order to diversify I had pretty much sacrificed my wildlife photography in 2012 (apart from the orchid season) and I feel the urge to get back to my roots and capture some bird action.
I have seen some great landscape work this year; none better than the images of Paul Sansome, who gave a talk at the Ashford club this season. I think landscape will be a slow burn for me but I do aspire to get better at it. My success in winning the Rural Landscape trophy at Ashford this season (with the shot below) has also given me the added drive to do some more.
|Late evening high tide, Trebarwith Strand|
I've promised my wife I'll take her to Venice in the spring and, yes, she does know she'll be sharing me with my camera.
For a whole raft of reasons we have not had many Wonky trips this year, something for Anthony, Philip and me to address at our next committee meeting.
New Year Message