Capturing my best shots of 2021. Making the most of 2021 and all it's weirdness (what was that about?!). Here's my favourite photos from last year along with a little commentary. Happy New Year everyone.
If you've seen my photography before, you will know that I love getting close up and personal with nature. I recently joined a local photography group and ventured out on a bitter cold Sunday morning (my ski jacket has come in handy!). The above photo was taken at the end of the session and it was my favourite from the day. I like it because of the deep, dark tones of the leaves which makes them look as if they are floating freely without stems. I also like how the white flower is nestled, taking prime position in the centre. Overall, I am happy with this image and I hope you like it too.
'Into The Light'
Late spring I took a trip to a local country park with a friend. It was a particularly hot day and the sun was shimmering amongst the tree's. I love sparkling sunlight rays as I walk in a peaceful place, don't you? We decided to head for cover in the forest and to find some interesting tree compositions. If you have tried to photograph tree's before you will know how difficult it can be to find a point of interest and/or right angle in dense forest. To date, I haven't really managed to capture a decent shot. I was however, pleased with the above photo which captured the light through the tree's, illuminating the texture and shape of the leaves.
'Bluebells & Bokeh'
One of my goals in 2021 was to capture a decent Bluebell shot. I am pleased to say I managed to find a few wonderful places that gifted me with photo opportunities last year. One location on my bluebell hunt was a small forest which had complete covering of these little purple wonders! It was full of vibrant purple and green tones. I took care to not tread on these protected flowers to take the above shot.
The bluebell is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). This means digging up the plant or bulb in the countryside is prohibited and landowners are prohibited from removing bluebells from their land to sell.
Bluebells are native to western Europe with the UK being a species stronghold. They're associated with ancient woodland and are often used in combination with other species as a clue that a wood is ancient.
Loch Rannoch, The Scottish Highlands
One of the main highlights of last year was my time spent in the Scottish Highlands. I have never visited Scotland prior to this as my attention has always been further afield. I must say, I have fallen in love with the scenery. It is spectacular. Despite working long hours on the private estate, I managed to get out and take a few photos and appreciate the majestic surroundings.
The photos of the deer are quite an interesting story. Rannoch station is home to a family of deer who get fed by the station manager every day around the same time. The station is really remote and the deer wait outside the house patiently for their carrots. I counted around 20 of them. I was told that this family will not fall prey to local stalkers as they are a much loved tourist attraction in the area. We took some carrots and tempted the family over one afternoon. It is the closest I have been to these wonderful animals. What a sight!
'Whose Looking At You'
The above photo was taken on my smart phone but I feel it really captures this little chaps inquisitive nature and beauty. He lived in the field next to the place I was working and came over to see me as I walked past. Coming from a city, it is really nice to have green space and animals near to my place of work. When I was younger, I never appreciated things like this. Funny how our tastes change and we adapt to different environments as we grow older.
'Shades Of Green'
I have experimented with ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) for over a year now and it is a technique I enjoy as you never know how an image will turn out. I like the abstract nature of this technique and some of the photos I have taken also remind me of paintings. I have several tree captures I am happy with but the one above was taken in the forest in The Highlands so it is very special to me.
'Birds In Flight'
The above capture was taken on my last trip out with the camera. I am pretty inexperienced when it comes to taking action shots of birds. I am not particularly interested in wildlife photography but I wanted to capture some motion blur of birds in flight. I like the above image mainly due to the editing giving it a cinematic feel. It has a retro style finish as if the photo was taken many years ago don't you think? Maybe in 2022 I will find my passion for photographing some more wildlife....
Well, that's a wrap from me. 2021 was a bit of a strange year for me personally. It didn't really get going. I enjoyed it in places and looking back at some of my photos, I guess it wasn't all bad. It's important to appreciate the good times when we have them.
For 2022, I am hoping to have a bit more of a smoother journey and lots of trips out with my camera. I haven't set New Year's resolutions as who sticks them nowadays! I am just hoping for happiness and a little laughter in my life. The simple things.