Top Five from 2018

As is now customary, the PistonHeads.com Photography Forum had a thread to share your top five photos from the previous year, in this case 2018. As I had selected my five photos I also decided to share them on my blog, as I have done for 2017, 2016 and 2012.

I was surprised to open the curtains in Owen’s bedroom on morning to see a partridge perched on our fence (annoyingly nowhere near our pear tree). I grabbed my camera, opened the window and took a few shots before it flew off. The was the only photo I took with my old Canon 70-200mm lens last year – I love the quality of the image, but the fact that the lens did not even leave the house was part of my reason for part exchanging it towards my Fuji kit.

Jen and I love the Sandleigh National Trust Tea Room in Croyde, their cream tea is the best I have had! With an inquisitive toddler, the fact it is in a walled garden is great, Owen could explore on his own, still in the safety of the garden. The was one of the first portraits I took with my Fuji X-T2 (using the kit lens) and I was really pleased with how it came out.

Another shot from our trip to Croyde, although this was taken from the Capstone Parade in Ilfracombe. It was the first real landscape shot I took with my X-T2 – and ideal for trying out the Velvia film simulation.

Since swapping my heavy Canon camera gear for a lighter Fuji set up, I am more likely to have my camera with me. In the past I would not have taken my camera for an excursion to the playground, but the little Fuji is great for this sort of trip out and means I can get photos like this one of Owen! He was playing hide and seek in this little cabin, so I set up the shot and waited for him to pop his head out. I really feel that Owen’s personality is captured here.

I posted this photo from the Trent and Mersey Canal just after taking it, but it made my top 5 because I like the colours and the reflections.

Autumn Colours on the Trent and Mersey Canal

Recently I realised that although I spend a lot of time at Cannock Chase, I only ever see the mountain bike trails, and vowed to explore some more – ideally with my camera! This weekend I had to pick up an eBay purchase so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and have a photography stop on the way home – actually I killed three birds with one stone, as I gave my Toyota MR2 a good run out too! The weather even played ball, as it was one of those sunny, crisp autumnal mornings. The previous day I had mentioned to Jen that I thought the autumn colours were particularly pretty this year. Maybe it is down to the nicer than usual weather (or global warming)?

I stopped right at the northern edge of the Cannock Chase AONB, in a village called Great Haywood. I’d chosen the location because there were two canals, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Trent and Mersey Canal, in addition to the River Trent. The area nearest to where I had parked was actually the most photogenic, especially with the autumn colours reflecting in the water. It was a great way to break up a journey and something I am going to try to do again in future.

Canal By Night – Throwback Thursday

Canal RoundaboutAnother post inspired by the #throwbackthursday hashtag on Twitter. This photo was taken exactly four years ago, from the NIA in Birmingham. I’d actually forgotten about it, until a night photography thread popped up on PistonHeads, so when I found it and noticed it had been taken exactly four years ago I had to post it to my blog.

 

2013

Old BoatFirst of all – Happy new year!┬áSo far 2013 has been pretty good, a lazy breakfast of pancakes, bacon and maple syrup with my friends who had joined us to see out 2012 at my flat, then a roof down drive in the MX-5 to blast away the cobwebs and a walk along the Grand Union Canal at Braunston to make sure they were really gone!

As usual I had my camera with me and saw this barge which was looking a bit sorry for itself, almost as if it had over done it seeing out 2012. Although from geotagging the image in Lightroom, it looks like the boat has been there a while, as it is on the Google Maps satellite view!

2013 is already shaping up to be a busy year, with a house to renovate (and a flat to sell), an new exciting project at work, car shopping (for my best friend, my Dad and the replacement for my MX-5), hopefully some travelling and not to mention my 30th birthday!

I’m hoping to update this blog more than I have been recently, as one of my new years resolutions is do do more photography, including time lapses with the GoPro I got for Christmas.

Chimney

This picture was taken on a walk along the canal at Union Wharf in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, with an old friend from school, Dan, who has just bought himself and EVIL camera (EVIL as in Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens, rather than with a plan to take over the world). It was good to take a walk somewhere that I’ve not been since the days when I was still shooting film, although I did also finish off the roll of Velvia that’s been in my film body for a while.

I took the usual boat reflection pictures, but it was this image of the smoking chimney after the sun had gone that was my favourite from the shoot as it’s a bit different to my normal style.

Braunston Canal

This is the first of my posts featuring shots of canals, I’m not sure what it is about canals, I’ve only ever spent one cold weekend on a narrow boat, but there is something about canals that pulls me to them, the colours of the boats, the people but mostly it is the relaxed vibe that is always there, nothing needs to happen fast, I find that refreshing.

This morning I was travelling light, just one body with the 50mm mounted, no camera bag, no tripod etc, it made a nice change. A few shots were missed due to the lack of a wide angle, but that just means I have an excuse to go back.

 

Braunston Canal 1

Braunston Canal 1

Braunston Canal 2

Braunston Canal 2

Braunston Canal 3

Braunston Canal 3