Friday, December 11, 2015

Best of 2015

I haven't done one of these for some time but I saw Jim Goldstein's tweet referring to his annual blog project to collect photographers' "Best of year" links, so I thought I'd have a look and see what I'd done during the year that was 2015.

The first thing I looked at was my Lightroom catalogue to find that there were a shade under 1,800 shots with metadata showing the year of 2015. Keep in mind that I delete any totally unusable (accidental release, hugely under/over-exposed, totally out of focus) or unwanted (sky or ground shots used to mark the end of a sequence, kids' or drunks' "take my photo, take my photo, take my photo") shots. The ~1,800 shots remaining represent, in the 'old money' that I still sometimes think in, an average of one roll of film per week. I need to make an effort to up this rate next year.

A surprising split this year was that I took slightly more shots with my Nikon D5000 than with my D90 (908 to 857). I think this is because I picked up a Lowenpro Passport Sling bag on special from Cameras Direct and it was an easier fit with the D5000 than with the D90. My D90 always has the battery pack/grip on it, mostly because I've lost the original battery compartment cover!
My Lowenpro Passport Sling bag and it's usual contents
Daily carry bag

Another interesting statistic that I noticed from my Lightroom catalogue data was my use of lenses this year.
Column graph showing lens usage during 2015
I love that 60mm lens!

Moving from Lightroom to my main on-line presence, Flickr, I find that I have posted a mere 172 photos this year. This really needs to be picked up. Still, I suppose it's better than my poor 500px account which was given a miserly 15 shots for the whole year (and five of them were from a series shot on the same day).

And so to my actual favourite shots of the year. I narrowed them down to ten, in which there is one insect macro, two abstracts, three flower macros, two landscapes, one street shot and one Photoshop composite. There are a total of seven people in these ten shots, but six are in one photo and they only take up about one eighth of the area of the image.

Let me put them in order for you, from January 1 to December 3.

New Year's Day. Looking out the privacy glazed window of my bathroom I was taken by the resemblance to Andreas Gursky's Rhine II. I may have been hung over, but hey, if you want to pay 4.3 million dollars I'll print you this photo and destroy the negative.
Abstract image showing green area, brick pattern and wooden dowel

At the end of the month of January, in preparation to whisking up a vinaigrette for a salad dressing, I poured some olive oil, red wine, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar into a white bowl. Dinner was delayed for some time while I set up some lighting and shot this.
Abstract image showing oil, wine and vinegar layering

One Friday in late February, having missed my intended train from Footscray station I had some time to kill. I took to riding the escalators and exploring what I could see of the different eras of architecture that was available. I noticed this young lady watching me and pointed my camera away from her to ease any tension she may have felt. I still took this shot though.
Photo showing upwards escalator with a young lady reflected off the glass side

The following Saturday I took a little photowalk around my neighbourhood. This was during a professionally stressful period while I was developing a database to collect and manage information to allow the Education Department to allocate millions of dollars in funding. I needed some peaceful imagery. I managed to get two favourites on the same day.
Photo showing blue and pink flowers
Photo showing purple flowers
Purple Trumpets

As autumn approached, in March my favourite (ok, my only) niece got married in a beautiful location in country Victoria. I wasn't the wedding photographer (the name's Billy, not Silly!) but of course I took a camera.
Photo showing bridal party on a pier by a lake in an Australian bush setting
Alix's Wedding

I dislike square landscape shots but in May, after a walk along the Lerderderg River near my place I had a bunch of exposure bracketed shots and well, seeing as Lightroom was now offering baked-in HDR and Photoshop had baked-in panorama stitching, how could I not experiment? Some of it was awful, some awesome!
Photo (HDR and stitched) showing the Lerderderg River in Darley, Victoria, Australia
Double river view

There are places in the world where winter is bleak and miserable. In Victoria, Australia, we mostly just get different pretty flowers to shoot. Wattles, acacias, and literally five minutes walk down the road from me, this gorgeous thing.
Photo of a pincushion hakea flower
Pincushion Hakea

Throughout this year I have been applying myself to learning to do more in post-processing using Photoshop. I really like where I got to with this moth macro overlaid with some grungy textures.
Photo of a moth with a grungy texture overlay
Moth (textured)

This brings me up to just last week! A composite shot of 19 (it was 20, but salt crystals are hard to shoot!) individual shots of various herbs, spices and other condiments from my pantry. This is the first image in probably 30 years that I deliberately made with the plan of printing it in a large format.
Photo composite of herbs, spices and other condiments. Has text inlaid reading "There are those who say that the plural of spouse is spice"

Well thanks for taking the time to look at my pictures and read my nonsense! I'd love to hear from you in the comments below, if you could spare a moment or two.

The next year should be very interesting, photographically. I have now officially retired from work, so I have much more time to spend on artistic endeavours. I have also bought myself a present of a large (-ish) format printer and will be expending more effort into print making and presentation. There's fun to be had!

Good light, my friends, good light.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks mate, I'm sure you've seen them all already, so extra thanks!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I have kept this page back to have a read and its taken me this long to get there. An enjoyable read and lovely to look through your work this past year. I love the variety you have included in your selection. I look forward to seeing your work through 2016
    Thank you for sharing
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you, that's very kind. I'm hoping this coming year will be more of the full depth of photography rather than just "click click click post to twitter"!

      All the very best of the New Year to yourself, as well.