As this will be the last post of 2012 , I’ve decided to make it a quick review of the year split down into months. All images are click-able for their larger versions.
January just flew by, I was working all hours, so to get away from it all I decided to pay a return visit to Sandy Point on Hayling Island. On arrival the weather looked awful and my enthusiasm levels were virtually none existent, so I sat in my car contemplating what to do, by chance a Flickr friend, Adrian turned up, so I decided to give it a go. This image I took whilst watching the sun go down. It was deceptively cold with a strong wind blowing, typical for southern England at that time of year. Due to quite heavy cloud the sun was only putting in a sporadic appearance. Although cold I stuck with it and took a fair number of images, the local seals put in an appearance, but due to only having wide angle lens with me I couldn’t get close enough to make the shot worthwhile (must make a note to take a longer lens on a return visit ). Most of my time was spent playing around with shutter speeds of around 1s and trying to catch the wave action. Typically with these kind of shots it’s rather hit ‘n’ miss – you can take 100 shots and only have 1 or 2 of interest.
Although on that particular visit, the keepers didn’t really amount to anything it was nice just to get out into the sea air.
February I was even more busy, still trying to balance work, weather and free-time together can take some doing, little did I know how quiet it was soon to become, I think I only made one trip out and that was a brief visit to Bosham harbour. For some time since the new year I had been feeling run down and had a general lack of enthusiasm for most things including photography, the poor weather wasn’t helping either.
March was when I had intended to make a return visit to Scotland, sadly that would have to wait until the autumn. For whatever reason I only took half a dozen or so images during the whole of March, can’t think why that was so. I often take time to reflect on how lucky I am to have places like Bosham harbour on my doorstep as it’s such a great place to chill and get away from it all and to have a bit of peace and quiet. One of these days I will have to take the time to explore the rest of the village.
April was my happiest time of the entire year, I actually got out and visited places, and the weather improved. It was in April when I took a picture of fellow Flickr photog Jakeof hard at work in Bosham harbour. Rather than post the picture myself I offered it to Jake to post if he so wished.
It so turned out that it was both of ours most popular picture, my most successful but not shown on my Flickr account, and Jake’s shows on his account as his most popular, but he didn’t take it – still amuses me the way it turned out.
I often wonder why I keep finding myself down at Bosham but it can throw out such amazing different scenes from day to day. This image to the right was taken just around the headland at the end of smugglers lane overlooking Itchenor. This area is just to the west of Bosham Hoe and overlooks Cobnor Point. It is actually shot from the footpath leading to the passenger ferry. As all too often, the sun only put in a minor appearance, briefly, but for just long enough to paint a picture. My favourite location is back in the creek, during a still evening capturing the magnificent reflections of the church and waterfront buildings that can be had.
I also made my first ever visit to Arundel Castle – a very beautiful and impressive building. We didn’t manage to explore it properly, which is a good excuse to do a re-visit, maybe in 2013.
The Castle dates from Christmas day 1067 where it was founded by Roger de Montgomery. Roger became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War and then restored in the 18th and 19th centuries. From the 11th century onward, the castle has served as a hereditary stately home and has been in the family of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years. It is still the principal seat of the Norfolk family. I think in the new year it will warrant a post all to itself on the building.
May brought with it an abundance of rape seed flowers, their vivid yellow petals lighting up the countryside , for this image I had to nip over the border and into Hampshire, sitting next to the yellow blooms is a fantastic little chapel originally dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, A.D. 1053
As soon as the sun comes out and the day’s are warm the whole ambiance of the towns and cities change, taking on a more relaxed atmosphere. What with buskers and street entertainers, it makes the temptation to try street photography very strong, however, I always feel very self conscious that everyone is staring and therefore I will never be able to get a candid shot. It also came as a bit of a surprise to me, of all the different micro worlds that these type of shots capture. They become real snapshots in time. I’ve since come to realise that the busier the area is, the better it is for this type of photography – it’s easy to hide in a crowd. I shall look forward to it this coming spring, and try my hand at it again – here’s hoping that we have a good one .
June was not a good month for me, had a lot going on, felt very down and consequently hardly used my camera, although at the end of the month I did take some photos of the Tornado Bomber and the Euro Fighter Typhoon (pictured below) whilst displaying at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
July , although pretty much like June, was when I forced myself out with the camera, made somewhat easier by some nice sunny days.
I always find this time of year is great for the closeup and macro shots, despite the harsh light which can be easily controlled on such small subjects. The two images here, of the poppy and the thistle seed head are examples of interesting subjects that are in abundance for short periods of time. Poppy’s don’t seem to hang around for very long, either that, or I don’t find them soon enough. This year I was lucky to find a field of Poppy’s out in bloom but caught them right at the end of their flowering life, really surprised me of the range of colours they had. Some of these can be seen in this post here .
The seed heads do not last long, wind and rain decimate them, although, the heads actually need the wind to spread the seeds. Around this time fields of various crops are ripening, trees are showing their true majesty. This is also the time for big summer storms, with their massive clouds, which with the right type of light on are stunning. This image below was such a case, but by the time I had stopped the car, grabbed my camera and ran across the road and climbed up the field bank, the setting suns rays, had started to move away from the clouds. July also saw yet another visit to Bosham harbour, no surprise here. It’s just a great focal point – pun intended.August I think was a big surprise for everybody in Britain – the Olympics had just got under way and the rain had gone and it finally felt like summer. The washout games that most of us had predicted never materialised and were a resounding success for Britain and Team GB.
Now that we were having nice warm, dry sunny days, the urge to go out with the camera and onto the streets to try some more street photography, was becoming overwhelming. I ventured into Chichester city center again and in East street I found this regular “Slim Jim” Lightfoot playing to a large audience. In North street was this young lad raising money for charity by juggling.
August was also the time to make my first ever visit to a London Museum, this was a very brief visit to the Natural History Museum detailed in this post . It was then onto the Science Museum detailed in this post .The very brief visits to the two museums have whetted my appetite to return for a much more thorough return visit.
September was a lot less travelled, walking around Chichester I noticed the massive variety of front doors, that’s given me an idea for the future. I managed to get out on my mountain bike a few times, only took the point n shoot with me (million times better than no camera), visited an old crafts fayre, saw a bit of glass blowing. Watched an old Smithy at work, a bit of leather working, how arrows were made. Also being displayed were some old battle re-enactments. For sale were a fine selection of local ales and delicious lamb, roasted over an open fire. Local jams and honey as well as hand crafted goods were also on offer. The scene captured below undoubtedly were all to common back in the middle ages.
October I finally made it back up into Scotland for a couple of weeks holiday. The weather was more good than bad and I didn’t suffer from the midges – result.
This scene I had spotted earlier in the day, there were hundreds of separate piles of balancing stones. I began to wonder what it could look like in the setting sun. The day was quite grey but as the day progressed it began to brighten up in the north east of the island, so I drove back to this spot on the off chance. It turned out that this was going to be a missed opportunity. The sun did make an appearance, although with heavy cloud cover. Using one of my favourite lens and going for optimal image quality I had forgotten how prone to flare it was as can be seen, due to the scrambling over the rocks I didn’t have a second lens with me and there wasn’t time to go back and get one either. Better planning next time.
I made another visit to Neist Point to grab this capture of the lighthouse (left)- with a 16mm lens on a full frame camera it’s only too easy to end up worryingly close to the edge of the cliffs. My LEE Big Stopper filter got a rare outing for this image, at approx 30s exposure time. Had trouble with the wind as it’s very exposed in these parts. One effect that I like from long exposures is that it takes the harshness out of the scene and can make it seem like it was all calm and peaceful, unlike the reality. Having spent the best part of a week on the Isle of Skye I decided it was time to move on, this time to Ardnamurchan – The Point of Ardnamurchan.
The Point of Ardnamurchan is the most westerly point on mainland Britain and sits on the edge of the remenants of an extinct volacano. Although having visited the area on numerous occasions this was only the second time I’ve had such great weather, with that in mind I set out to take this image (right). This one was just over a second of exposure time. It’s the first time I’ve explored this side of the peninsular and it was well worth it. The region whilst close to Fort William feels very isolated and has a much slower pace of life, perfect for a relaxing time.
Back home it was a case of try and visit some of the local attractions and on the top of my list was the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. Photo of the glass floor looking down at the ground far below. The odd socks tells me that my niece took this image – honest! The views from the tower are amazing.
Whilst looking down through the glass floor I tried unsuccessfully to persuade my niece, TJ, to perform a handstand while I took her picture, she sadly declined my request. I would’ve done it myself but I couldn’t hold the camera as well. . A guy overheard my request and persuaded his daughter to do a handstand, with his help holding her ankles I got my wish, so thank’s whoever you are. Below, Everyone chimps. Note these last 3 images taken by TJ
November was a bit of a washout, pretty much like most of the year, there were however, odd moments when it didn’t rain. Like this image to the right I had gone to the beach at Bognor Regis to try and photograph the old Mulberry Harbour pontoon that’s wrecked on the beach at Aldwick. On this occasion the tide was wrong – too far out, so I spent time photographing the rocks with their dark silhouetted shapes contrasting the glowing water.
I also went out in search of new or forgotten locations, one such forgotten location came back on my radar as I drove past it early’ish one morning.
This pond I had seen many times before but kept forgetting about it. This time on passing I stopped and got my camera out and I proceeded to take numerous recce shots, this was one of my favourites. It looks to me as if the pond was created by a blocked culvert under the road.
Guess what? It’s nearly Christmas.
I thought I’d go out one evening and see if I could find any reflection in puddle type of shots. Although numerous puddles, none were suitable. This all that I ended up with, Santa’s Sleigh barge moored in Chi canal. I chose Christmas night to go out purely because it’s the quietest night of the year, however, because it was so dark the contrast between the lights, sleigh and buildings was to great I had to wait for cars to drive around the corner behind me and their headlights sweep around and light the sleigh and buildings. What I thought was a wind less night wasn’t, as a breeze kept gently moving the barge about, Not so good for long exposures when the main subject keeps moving.
As sure as day fades to night, 2012 fades to 2013.
Have a great new year