Thursday, 19 January 2012

My 10 of the Best of 2011

Finally got round to compiling my first 'Best of' list. Hopefully this will be enjoyable for you as much as it is for me a way of assessing what I've done and seeing if any new patterns or styles have come forward over previous years.

Well, here we go, in reverse order...

Primrose Hill at Night
This was taken in the autumn, the clouds were advancing quickly across the sky, accentuated by this long-exposure shot (30 secs). This was a difficult shot to take, as even the slightest wind caused vibrations through the tripod, resulting in a slight blurring of the image. This was also one of my early attempts at night cityscapes.

Picadilly Rain
This was an experimental shot, when out-and-about in a rainy Picadilly, London. The puddles were perfect for reflecting the silhuettes of passers-by. The amount of light and neon was dazzling. As a final touch I rotated the image 180 degrees.

Eiffel Tower
An unusual angle in this photo, but I was drawn by the arcs and curves of the architecture of the tower.

Takeout Mopeds (Chalk Farm Road)
A local walk-about for me. Camden Lock is literally down the road and a great area for just having a play with the camera. This appeals to me because it's such a simple subject yet made to look less ordinary. It was very early and so no-one was about. These mopeds are outdoor benches for an adjacent takeout bar, one of hundreds in Camden Market.

Chalk Farm Sunrise (Roundhouse)
Another local landmark: the Roundhouse, framed by the iron girders of the Regent's Park Road Bridge in Primrose Hill. My instinct was completely desaturate the image to monochrome. This image for me evokes the vernacular urban scenes of Sixties London and I suspect that this view has not changed much in those 40 years.

Celebration Cake
I can't take any credit for producing this delicious birthday cake (courtesy @cake_butterfly), which was baked for a friend. However, it was an opportunity for me to have a go at food photography. Rather than just snapping it, I set up a black cloth background and some atmospheric lighting and used quite a narrow depth of field. As this was the first time I had done anything like this, I feel it merits inclusion here.

Light streaks on Westminster Bridge
This is my first attempt at light streaks, taken as part of a photography workshop group. It taught me the basics and, while not the sharpest image I've ever produced, I feel that it was a good first effort at this technique. I have since tried this style in other spots in London and I'm keen to experiment further in more suburban and "scenic" locations in the future.

London Eye at Christmas
This was the first time I had my Gorillapod with me - a great little minipod that is handy to have in busy and small areas. With it being festive too, it adds a a bit of magic to the composition. The long exposure techniques I had learnt earlier were also employed here.

Another long-exposure shot, this was at 20 seconds. The Carousel starts to resemble a spinning top, as the light colour fuses. An expected element to the image is the figure in the centre, who passes by briefly leaving a ghostly form. The wind was noticeable at times and some elements such as the small trees are noticeably blurry. Again, this as a first-time in trying this kind of subject matter.

Sunrise eclipsing the Shard
Okay, technically, this was taken in early Jan 2012 but it brings me right up to date as far as this retrospective is concerned and something of a culmination of what I had learned through 2011. I had been taking a series of shots on Primrose Hill from early dawn and so this was taken at the end of my planned shoot. It was starting to become too bright soon after this, and the scene lost some of that aura and mystique. This shot really brings out the silhouettes of the buildings and the rising steam and smoke in the cold air from office buildings. It's as close as I've got to a classic urban skyline image.

All in all, a lot of new techniques learnt. All of which I hope to build on in 2012...

Hope you enjoyed!

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