Story of 2018

Story of 2018

This is kind of a version of my SOAP-SERIES (story of a photograph), only this time it is (story of 2018); a look back at some of my favourite images from the year just gone. I wasn’t going to bother with something like this, until I found I enjoyed looking at fellow bloggers (jtinseoul’s) look at his previous year, and thought… OK, I’ll see what images of mine would make the cut.

First up (in chronological order) is this shot of some clocks. I shot this in a department store one day, wandering around looking for light-bulbs or something if memory serves me right. I saw this wall full of clocks, and something about it reminded me of something else; a Salvador-Dali painting perhaps? Whatever the reason I felt compelled to take a shot; taking a photograph is kind of like capturing time, so it seemed kind of apt.


Second up is this shot of my wife, Kes. We were out hiking in a local forest in early spring when a noise above caught our attention; I shot this with my wife looking up to see that it was a drone hovering overhead. I guess I like it for the unusual composition and the harsh light falling on her face. We hike a lot, so this photo seems like a happy memento of those times.


From my wife to a horse; (I am sure she won’t appreciate how that might look). This one was taken just an hour after the last one. I find that some of my better images tend to come like that, in twos and threes; it happens again later in this series. The horse appeared like a ghost, I had never seen a horse so pure white before, with the dark foliage in the background only adding to the effect; a pale sentinel of the forest coming to greet us and show us the way.


No 4: Nearby where I live is a canal; a canal that is large enough that huge container ships regularly sail up it; houses face straight onto the canal at places, and I always think that it must be strange to live in one of these houses, eating your corn-flakes in the morning, seeing an enormous sea-vessel passing your front window. I was driving past one day and pulled over to take some shots; I took probably around fifteen without really feeling like I was getting anything worthwhile; I was about to leave, but decided to walk to the front of the ship where I spotted a lone guy on the bow, miniaturised by the enormity of his surroundings (probably a look-out). I got lucky, I fired off this shot, seconds later he was gone, back below deck.


Next is a dead fish; actually it is a stuffed fish at a local museum. I am not entirely sure why I like this photo; maybe it is the high-contrast look of the image, or the fact that large eyes in photographs tend to draw you in. I take a lot of fish-shots, and chickens and chairs for some reason; there is a series in there somewhere maybe?


Talking of chairs; for shot 6, I took a photograph of a plastic chair on a chocolate and creme rug. Sometimes I like minimalism in photos; I also tend to veer towards pastel shades of colours. I talked about this in more depth in my post (Hues of Nostalgia); no real story behind this one, it’s just a chair… sometimes that is enough.


The next two shots are of my wife, Kes. This wasn’t intentional, it is just the way it turned out; as I said, these photographs are listed chronological. We were staying in a hotel in Liverpool here in England; the first was taken in the reception area, there was a large painting on the wall that I liked, probably twenty feet or more across which had this aboriginal-vibe about it. Kes has the kind of expression on her face that people tend to have when they have a lot of time to think, but not a lot to think about, we were simply killing time in one of those pleasant-suspended-moments that life sometimes throws at you.

The second shot was taken in the entrance of the same hotel close to midnight; having been out for dinner and a few drinks, which probably explains the playful expression on her face. Again, it was the painting behind her that caught my eye, a Jackson Pollock sort of thing, a riot of colour exploding in all directions. I sometimes feel uneasy photographing other people’s artwork or photography, an infringement of copyright maybe? The best way to deal with this, I feel, is to add a little something of your own, to make it somehow unique and different from the original.


The penultimate photograph is a snap-shot that I took on a night-out in Manchester to watch a rugby-game in the autumn. My wife and my son and I were passing the BBC studios on our way back to the car when I spotted this TARDIS in the window. Personally I am not a Doctor-Who fan, but it was hard to resist firing a shot from the hip as we walked past. Later in Lightroom, playing around with the exposure, I saw their reflections emerging out of the blacks, almost like the TARDIS itself does in the TV show.

I don’t often take quirky shots like this, but for some reason I like it.


And finally (are you still with me?), is this shot of some late autumn blooms. I have been working on a photo-book this year; I actually have a draft-copy of it in front of me, but I feel it stills needs a couple of tweaks before going to full publication. The book covers images I have taken in the last five years or so, although it was hard to finally reach a point where I thought I had all the images I needed; this was the shot that did it. I was out walking one day in late October; all was brown, grey and fairly miserable, winter was setting in; I turned a corner and was surprised to see an excitement of colour, a vibrant display, like a peacock brandishing its gaudy hues in defiance of the encroaching cold. It seemed a fitting sign, a natural conclusion;

I pressed the shutter and knew that was it.


To wrap up: I tried to concentrate more on colour this year, so it is interesting to note that only 3-colour shots made it into the top ten? I guess it is harder to shoot colour; with colour not only does the photo have to work, but the colours also; with BW only the shot does.

Something to think about going into 2019.