The world has been a strange place this year with events effecting us all in one way or another. For myself I had originally planned a trip away to New Zealand with the purpose of capturing the beauty of the land across the two main islands. The country itself however stopped allowing international travel very early on in the year and it seems like such restrictions will remain for some time to come. This led me to make the most of what is on my doorstep so to speak. This post is a review of what I consider to be the best 5 images I have taken this year.
The above comes in at number 5 and is one of the many sunrise images I have taken this year. Despite not quite getting the red sky I was hoping for, some fantastic golden light appears alongside Penmon Lighthouse in Wales just after sunrise was defused by the clouds. This created what is quite a dreamy effect and was accompanied by the silky water of the sea caused by the longer exposure time.
From sunrise to sunset for number 4; one of my several trips to the Peak District this year took me to Curbar Edge. Much like Penmon Lighthouse I was hoping from some red sky as the sun set, but instead the cloud swallowed the sun. What I did manage to capture is the image you see before you. In the run up to sunset otherwise known as golden hour, I had some of the best light I have ever been out to photograph in. The abandoned millstone and rocks make for fantastic foreground interest before leading through the image to a hiker in the background who really adds some scale to the image.
Third place comes from a day where I have once again completed an orbit around the sun. Spending your birthday with your camera in Snowdonia, Wales is definitely one of the best ways to do it. Tryfan is the main focal point of this image and to gain this perspective of the mountain it involved a somewhat difficult walk up the side of the hill opposite. As a common theme in my top 5 images from this year the weather didn’t quite do what I desired, this time the sun completely vanished in the run up to sunset. Still, a more muted look really works for this location and that is what I came away with.
Portrait photography traditionally has never been something I have had much interest in, even from the beginning of my photographic journey. However over the last couple of years I have wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and try to photograph subjects I wouldn’t normally. This image is placed at number two as I feel for someone who is still in their infancy when it comes to portraiture, the outcome was a fantastic and captured exactly what I was trying to achieve. I am looking forward to the shoots I have got lined up in 2021 to further improve on this area of my photography.
Finally, we reach the top spot, number 1. One of the first sunrise trips I did this year and it was definitely worth the 2 hour drive after the 2 hours of sleep I got the night before. The mist in Hope Valley created this other worldly scene as the sun rose to illuminate the hills. This image was taken with my 70-200mm lens, further proof that landscapes aren’t just for wide angle lenses. This image also made it onto the cover of my first ever photobook and may well be the best photograph I have ever taken, not just of 2020.
It has been a great year for me in terms of just getting out there and doing photography. I cannot wait to do it all over again in 2021 and if things have settled down, that trip to New Zealand could well be on again.