What kind of blog doesn’t have a retrospective on the year just past eh? Well, this one nearly didn’t. However, as much as the year tailed off, I wanted to reflect on what a good year 2015 has been – it has been a year of started but rarely completed projects, of meeting new friends, of photowalks, of opportunities to talk about my photography and a widening of my photography interests. Black and white photography and the use of long exposure remain my real passions but there has been an increase in my willingness to look at the world in colour, whilst towards the end of the year I started to look up at the stars. There was even room for a new camera, my Fuji X100T, in my bag. Oh, and I also got to exhibit some of my photographs too!
The real highlight last year were the photowalks and the new friends I made and the old friends I was able to spend further time with. It started in Liverpool in January where I attended my first ‘Fujiholics’ organised event. Truth be told, I nearly didn’t go – my own perpetual challenge with trying to get out combined with the fact it looked to be a ‘street’ photowalk, left me doubting whether to go. A last minute decision to make the trip proved to be one of, if not the best decisions of the year. On arriving I met Matt Hart, the organiser of the event and it turns out, despite his best attempts to convince people he’s a bit grumpy, he’s a great guy. That day I got to meet representatives of three excellent companies who’s products play a big part in my photography Richard Wan (Fujifilm), James Stamp (Formatt Hitech) and Alastair Jolly (Smugmug). The walk was organised under the Fujiholics group which is primarily centred around social and teaching get togethers. All of those people (and companies) have played a big part in the year.
March saw a trip down to Brighton to see my good friend Gordon Laing of Cameralabs. It was a fantastic weekend of early mornings down by the old West Pier (well for me, nobody else seemed to fancy the early start), eating incredibly well and enjoying the best that Brighton has to offer – plus of course, some photography. Gordon introduced us to the the Brighton Street Food stalls and boy did we eat well!
I was surprised but pleased to be invited to display my some of my photography at the Cambrian Photography shop annual show to be held in May shortly before it was to be held. This was the first time I’d organised a public showing of my own photography and whilst the nature of the display wasn’t a formal exhibition, in many respects it was more daunting as all those taking in the photographs were photographers themselves. It was great fun trying to work out a collection that worked together and amazing seeing the large prints we put together. Thanks to Sarah at Cambrian again for the opportunity.
A camping trip to Beddgelert followed with the Fujiholics group and we had a fantastic couple of days. Sadly (from a photographic perspective) the weather was too lovely and never quite worked out for us but it made for a good time. Whilst I didn’t come away with any photographs I was happy with, I did come away with the desire to get out under the stars with my camera – something I hope will feature more in 2016.
The Fujiholics also headed into London mixing street and long exposure over a weekend with Paul Sanders joining Matt on the two days. Yet again this was another great social gathering and this time I did come away with a few photographs.
In between Beddgelert and London there was time for a trip to Scotland. This was with a group of friends who I’ve previously been to Dorset and Ireland with – led by Athena Carey, John Dunne and Andy Bitterer. Scotland was a place I’d never quite managed to make it to despite previous best intentions so it was great to finally make the trip north. Again it was another instance where conditions didn’t quite work in our favour from a photographic perspective but time spent in good company is rarely a waste.
As well as time with people, I also spent time in front of people this year as I was invited to talk about photography at both Rhyl Photographic Society and Wrexham Camera Club. This was a huge honour and came out of the blue. Thanks to Aaron and Barry again for the invite. Public speaking is something I have done before but talking about something you’re passionate about is hugely rewarding. Having never been to a camera club talk I wasn’t sure what format these normally took but my hour or two of technical and creative thoughts seemed to go down well.
Finally, there was photography. Not always as much as I’d have liked – the combination of lack of transport and poor weather in the second half of the year has somewhat stemmed the flow. However there were still photographs I love and these are a selection of the best of those not taken during the above events.
Prints of the above photographs and others in the galleries can be ordered by clicking on them and selecting ‘buy’.