I haven't written a blog for several months so I thought I should at least waft my hand vaguely in the direction of my website, given the weather has been poor of late and I have finally caught up with my editing backlog.
I took 27,080 photos in 2023, and according to Lightroom I must have thought 2,800 were worth spending time on. Assuming each image takes 10 minutes to edit, I dedicated nearly a full 20 days to just editing photos.........I'll leave the dots to emphasise quite what a boring bastard I really am! All this time editing might also explain why my partner starts furiously Whatsapping her angry wives group whenever I suggest I'll be spending the evening on my computer..
Lightroom also tells me that I took 20,000 of my 27,080 total images on my 24-120 Nikkor lens, and just 7,000 on my 70-200. It's clear I have a favourite. However I only took 80 on the big expensive 14-24mm though, so maybe it's time I considered shopping that in, or start to force myself to use it (at least I can say it's travelled with Thomas Heaton to Svalbard, as I can finally reveal myself to be the 'David' thanked in the Youtube video from his trip).
Shooting 27,000 photos in a year is no small feat and I used my camera a lot in 2023. Despite a 9-week hiatus during the summer when work kicked into overdrive, there were standout moments. In summary, the start of the year was rubbish, Spring was great for a 3 week period around Bluebell time, late September, October and November were fantastic (possibly the most productive time I've had with a camera) and December was pants. I continued to focus mostly on woodlands, but I did take a few trips to the coast. I am really pleased with my progress in the woods, and I feel that my eye for a composition in this environment is more refined than at the start of the year; I'm not quite there with the coastal photography though, and although I largely enjoy it, my tendency to run around like a cocaine bear with a chilli in its jacksie probably holds me back.
I got into printing in a reasonably big way this year and I am pleased to have finally found another interest as expensive as photography! That said, I made precisely 0 print sales in 2023, so I'll guess photography will remain a hobby rather than a career in 2024. My website traffic remains minimal, but the community on Instagram keeps me engaged, especially the network of like-minded woodland photographers. I also had an image shortlisted in the LPOTY competition (unfortunately when I was told I hadn't made the book, that was correct for me!) and I am awaiting news from a shortlisting in the other competition I entered this year (I would be surprised if it made any further progress as it's not really a photo I expected to do anything.)
Given the monumental effort poured into my editing, it feels only fair to myself to showcase 20 of my favourite images from the year. 'Favourite' serves as my escape clause if you find them less than impressive—after all, it's not just about the image itself but the experience of capturing it that elevates its significance to me...
They're also mostly from one wood in Dartmoor!
20 - Indecent exposure
19 - Got wood
18 - Life's a breach
17 - Panning for Gold
16 - One for the road
15 - Belle of the Ball
14 - From tiny oaks mighty acorns grow
13 - Heavy downfall
12 - The chase is on
11 - Grovely Good?
10 - Frosty reception
9 - Michels divas
8 - Handy Crane
7 - Shaw's Prior
6 - Boo!
5 - Weeping photographer
4 - Only me!
3 - Mr Anderson
2 - Bluebell Arch
1 - Sargasso Trees
It will be interesting to see what's in store for 2024, and whether my favourite images will end up being the same as 2022 and 2023! (January hasn't been that productive if that's a clue..)
When I started this blog it was New years day and given I'm only publishing it at the start of February, I wouldn't expect that much from me in the way of blog content as I am not a prolific writer and i'm a little bit of an introvert when it comes to sharing my images. I will try and make more of an effort here though as I still feel uneasy about the number of photos I have that are never shared, many of which have a story to tell. It might also be nice if I got the confidence to do something with my prints - there's only so much floor space in my office after all!
Past blog posts would suggest I'm pissing in the wind, but if you have read this and have constructive comments/feedback I'd love to hear from you, and maybe I'll be inspired to keep writing (pah!)
Bye for now..